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OcToBER

DEcEMBER 1998

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.Avatar J4lelier Baba’s flag 3:roirt J4/leherabad... to J44eherabode


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Editor’s Corner Jai Baba to you all. Andyet another one is called home...

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ugust 5th, and Nana Kher was granted his devoutwish—to be reunited with his Beloved Master. We will miss your embrace Nana Kher, your “Welcome home,” your gift of Baba’s Prasad, and your leading of the Prayers, but we rejoice in your happiness. In the April issue I put out the call for help in the layout ofthis magazine four wonderLii women came forth with PageMaker ex pertise and said theywould love to give it a tryc Tom Hart is still the head guy, the one that gives your LampPost a smooth , seamless, and —

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professional appearance. Each ofthe women, Betty Lowman from Palo Alto,Cherie Plumlee from Walnut Creek, Babs Gildersleeve from Los Gatos (all in Califor nia) and Kathy Hill from Norfolk, VA, de signed and did the layout for a number of articles.They then faxed the results to me for editing and proofreading and then sent the disks to Tom to do the grand over-all layout and to make sure they all flowed smoothly into one another. Ifyou can’t tell where one woman’s work ends and the next one starts, thenTom has done hisjob perfectly! It would seem this is the way to do it in the friture as we all seem to be finding increasingly fewer hours in the day! No one person has the time to do it solo. David McNeely manfully put the July issue together alone and unaided. Thank you David, great job! (But I think I heard him mutter “Never again!”)

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he main theme for our October issue is Sahavas—a word that has been explained in many different ways, but basi callyis ‘the give and take oflove in the Master’s company.’

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he peripatetic Bhau Kalchuri was on the move again this year, present at many ofthe Sahavases held across the coun try Ifyou have heard only one ofBhau’s talks, you will have heard “how infinitely active is our Beloved.”The same might be said of His Nightwatchman! Bhau the Indefatigable! We have reports from some ofthe places he vis ited across the countrywhere he was spreading the Word.

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he Love Street Bookstore tells us about the latest book from Mani, also six new videos released. Choose your Christmas presents from a great selection.

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e have an issue packed with interesting articles and new stories. You will find a fascinating historical account ofthe Stokes House on Grove Street in New York and also how the Discourses came to be printed in Hebre thanks to Ruth Carrie Ben Shammai. Enjoy the read! Dma Snow


A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California

LoveStreet Lamjlbsr welcome

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The £ovaStrectJamEPosr is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense ofcommunity among al/His lovers by providing a p/ace for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Baba family are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love and Truth. Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

Silence Day at Meherabode with Bhau Kalchuri Reflections on Silence Day

Heather Nadel

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EruchJessawala

WhyMeher Baba Observed Silence

Sam Saunders

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Heather Nadel

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Departing With Baba

Meher Baba

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Robert Dre)rfus

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TerryLucas and Roman Babiak

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Don Stevens

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Huma Alvarado and AnnaLena Phillips

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Betty Lowman

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Sahavas The 24th Los Angeles Sahavas A History ofthe L.A. Sahavas Toddy Shop MyFavorite Sahavas Young Adult Sahavas at Meher Mount Wake Up Portland, Wake Up!

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Major Fund-Raiser ofthe Year

submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar iVleher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 213-731-3737 or Bababooks@aol.com

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Various Contributors

Muzika Welcome Home Nana Kher

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Linda Zavala

iVleherabode Center and Grounds

Dreams, Reflections, and Hppopotonzi A Visit to WODIN’s Studio Kathryn Wiederhold

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Dma Snow Avatar’s Abode, Australia (The 4othAnniversary) Kendra Crossen Burroughs Wedding Bells at Meher Mount

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Ed Flanagan

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The House on Grove Street Consumed in the Flame ofLove

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The Story of Baba’s Jewel, Carrie Ben Shammai ofJerusalem

for the January March April June July September October December -

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issue: issue: issue: issue:

November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th

Etzion Becker

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Wendell Brustman

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Terry Zagrodnick

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Lanijones

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as told by Phyllis Ott

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Love Street Bookstore:

The Living \Vitness Series 6llehera, 2dani)

Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and 11pm 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax Bababooks@aol.com

Mehera, Meher Baba’s Beloved Souls On Fire Beautiful Souls in Ugly Cages

Insidejobs: Stories ForAdults and Other Kids

credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout: Betty Lowman, Barbara Gildersleeve, Cherie Plumlee, Kathy Hill, Dma Snow, Thomas Ilart distribution: Chris Lyttle

Kendra Crossen Burroughs

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Editors Corner

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Diia Snow

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3risidc... 7he Love &reet 9Jookstorc Humor for Fluma (‘Ghildren Speak to God)

Dma Snow

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various contributors

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Announcements Notes From The Internet

various contributors various contributors

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The J.oveSfrcet £amJP.osr is published quarterly, injanuary, April,July, and October. AU contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCT, India

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A//words, images, andgraphics in thispith/ication areproperly s/the copyrightho/tfers aiit//ort/a’ cositrihutors. Messages (!na’photos OJPVJL’herBaba ©AvatarlvleherBaha Perpetita/Pub/ic Charitable Trust, Ahisiea’naga;Ina’ia, aiicf© lawrence Reiter Unauthorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.


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ventually we will have a flag pole in the ground as they do at Avatar’s Abode (cost prohibits it at the moment.) As an interim measure it is at the entrance and for the “Official Flag Raising” we had Bhau climb a step ladder and place it in the holder. A large crowd was on hand and all was ac complishedjoyftilly and silently. Movies were shown all evening until midnight when, with Bhau present, all erupted in: 4vatar Meher Baba ki Jai

our i)a/a Jainily of Los 7 lnqeles and near ’, from 6 /ouf 7l7eJerazadJainily. 9

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ilence Day— 10th ofJuly and Bhau was still in town with us. What better day to celebrate and raise the Beloved’s Flag. Kathy Williams and her husband Gus had been the happy recipients and carriers of the flag given to us by the women mandali. It was accompanied by this letter which we have framed and which hangs beside the flag when it is inside (see photo on back cover.)

Leaving the Dome after silent prayers.

This flag was flown on Meherabad Hill on the following occasions: Silence Day 1996 Mani’s Interment September, Amatithi 1997 Baba’s Birthday 1997 Day First Anniversary Mehera’s Birthday

Part ofthe assemhled crowd ho/ding the framed /etterfrom the Macdali.

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Reflections on

Silence Day

by Heather Nadel, Meherazad

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a quiet part oflower Meherabad, there’s a little one-room hut in the shade ofa huge banyan tree. The sign over the door says, “The Jhopdi,” and it is where Beloved Meher Baba started His Silence. A video ofPadri springs to mind whenever I think about the Jhopdi. He is standing in front ofit, brist]ingwith life, tall and thin, and with a long bony finger he dramaticallyindicates the little room. “On the night of9thlJuly, 1925, Meher Baba went into this hut speaking, and on the morning of the th 10 He came out silent.” In his person Padri still carried the discipline, the alertness, the emphasis on obedience that stemmed from that early time when Baba started His Silence. Seventy three years later, it is Silence Day 1998, and to the Jhopdi have come a stream ofpilgrims, including the women mandali from Meherazad. They drive up in the big blue DeSoto, and slowly get out ofthe car, approach the open door, bow down. Inside, theirs are the first roses to adorn Baba’s picture, from which He looks out upon the scene, fiery and ineffably sweet, the photo being one of Him taken around 1925. The only sound is from the 7-colored flag on a pole outside, flapping in the mild wind. The ladies move over to the Table House, the big table-cum-room where in those intense early days Baba sat in seclusion writing His missingBook.Theybend to take darshan and offer roses at the little door, and when Dr. Goher straightens up, she beams a dazzling smile upon us all, 1000 watts at least, espe cially stunning coming from the frail little person who was unable to walkwithout help only 4 months ago. The others also emerge, Goher and Meheru tie a huge garland to the table, and pilgrims stream into the Jhopdi one by one for darshan. As the ladies drive off in silence, with gestures and smiles, waved offby the crowd, I

remember Mehera on Silence Day, bowing to the Table House. Her total absorption and deep reverence was very moving, and I would wonder what she was thinking, what she was remembering from those years that she spoke of so often: when she was young and new with Him, and He was speaking, fierce, strict, incredibly active, so vividly the Master the Jhopdi portrait come alive. And I remember the suffering that would steal over her face on Silence Day, in between her gracious gestures. a look that startled me the first time I saw it. Over time I came to know, because she would say it often, that to Mehera who loved Baba as God-Man, His Silence was suffering. She made one think of what it must have been like for Him to know that He would never laugh aloud again, never sing, never again voice ajoke, an instant repartee, or shout a reprimand, or converse natu rally. And thinking ofHis suffering she would then speak ofHim in His later years, after the accidents, when He was unable to walk easily, sitting in one place for hours in the heat of summer, unable to voice a wish or complaint, or call out or even whisper, and all the while taking upon Himselfthe burden ofthe world for love’s sake. In 1998, 700 silent pilgrims bowed down at the little hut under the banyan and at the Table House. From the books theywere reading, in the thoughts theywere thinking, perhaps some recalled as I did, what Baba had said: —

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“When the Word ofMy Love breaks out ofits Silence and speaks in your hearts, teiingyou who I really am, then you will know that that is the Real Word you have been always longing to hear.”

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‘Notes From The Internet” Continuedfrom page 30.

Actually, for about 3 months now, I have been hearing stories of wolf sightings at Meherabad, but I thought people were joking. However Erico told me he had seen wolves 3 times in the last month... big, long ears, dark grey with black fluffy tails, and quite scrawny. He even said that one day, while riding outwest of the Samadhi, he came upon a small village shepherdess who was crying. She said the “langa” (woW) hadjust come, scooped up a small goat and carried it offin it’s mouth. I wonder whether the prohibition against feeding stray dogs also applies to wolves? July 26th, Rain, rain, and more rain! The mangoes are over and apples have started coming into the market, the season is now well into the Monsoon. Last night we got the heaviest rain of the year so far, my guage, which goes upto 4.5 inches, overflowed in a 12 hour period. There are mini-ponds everywhere, and it is still threatening to rain more. It hasn’t been a good month for solar energu but the land is about as green as I’ve ever seen it. The totJ1 rain for the year, sincejune 1, is about 13 inches, and we are definitely expecting more. Thjs is about double what we had last year at the same point in time, and we ended May with around 24 inches total, pretty good for Meherabad. I think the record rainfall I have seen here in the last 27 years is somewhere around 36 inches, and that was about 15 years ago, when all the pump rooms in the open wells became flooded, and some people even began to say “enough!” Maybe all ofthe tree planting has finally started affecting our climate, or maybe it’sjust El Niño, butwhatever it is, it’s certainly welcome. This may be the only time of year when the weather here is cooler than most of America, 74 F as I write, almost perfect. Everyone’s health is more or less OK, ex cept for Nana Kher who has been hospitalized with pneumonia and some kind ofheart trouble. The Indian number offoreign pilgrims here remains moderate; there’s plenty ofspace at the Pilgrim Center and the rupee is 42.60 per dol lai: It’s a good time to come.

Video Review from Kendra The new Witness Series videos (from Wendell Brustman) thatwe got are highly rec

Why Meher Baba Observed Silence by Eruch Jessawala

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e would often question Meher Baba about His long silence, asking Him when He intended to break it and one day in 1954 in answer, He just dropped His alphabet board and said, “From nowon I will notuse the board.”We thought this was a hint that He might be about to break His silence but the days passed without incident except that He then started to communicate by using finger gestures. All He would say, referring to His silence, was, “What a binding it is” but it was a binding with a purpose—for our sake. However, one lasting benefit which de veloped out ofthis, came one day when He asked us this question: “Why do people shout at one another when they are angry?” We said, “They shout because they are angry and they want to express their anger,” and Baba responded, “Yes, they can express their anger that way, but even ifsomeone is seated at their side they will shout at that person. Could theynot speak softly?”We volunteered different explanations, saying different things which came to mind at the time, but our answers did not satisfy Baba. So He gave us the answer. “When a person is angry with another person,” He said, “that person is far removed from his heart and distance is created between them. That’s why the physical reaction is to shout, and the greater the distance, the greater is the shouting. Love disappears and one goes on shouting at the other who in turn barks

back at him. Then he barks and so it goes on and on.” But Baba did not stop there as He doubtlessly wanted us to see the same thing from a different angle. So He continued, “Now take the other case of two people in love. When two individuals are in love with each other, how do they speak?” “They speak softly,” we answered. “Yes,” Baba agreed, “they do speak softly and the greater the love between them, the softer is their tone of speech. And when they are still further in love, no words are needed and theyjust look at each other and eventually there is not even the need to look—no need at all.” Well, that is the reason whyMeher Baba observed silence. There was no need for an exchange ofwords. It was very good to hear that, to be reminded that He was so very close to us; as He has said, “I am closer to you than your very breath.” Whether the world accepted His closeness or not was immaterial to Him for whom there was no need to speak, and it was so true that whenever people came in contact with Him, although there was an ex change of signs or words through interpretations, Meher Baba always spoke directly to the hearts of people. There is no doubt at all about that, He simply reached deep into their hearts.

ommended! We have three—the ones of Mehera, Agnes Baron and Irene Bib. The Mehera tape is lovely,with a veiy touching scene in Baba’s Room at Meherazad. It’s also nice to see beautiftul Mehera and all the pretty ladies on the porch admiring herwith such love-filled glances. Agnes telling the story ofMeher Mount (and gentlymaking fin ofjean Adriel) is a pure delight. Irene Bib ofSwitzerland was a real treat. I was curious about her, as I recalled how she became catatonic in India and had to be cared for (byMargaret Craske, I believe). However

she does not mention this episode in the video. Yet it is very fascinating, since she is extremely articulate and speaks English verywell, and has plenty to say, not only stories but also words of wisdom and inspiration. Plus there’s an ador able shot oflrene making her dog wave into the camera!

The Ancient One, pp. 101-102, Copyright 1985, Naosherwan Anzar.

Kendra Crossen Burroughs MeherMount, Ojai, CA Visit the Meher Mount homepage at http://members.tripod.comJEzadJindex.htrnl

Continued on page 9.

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Step inside...

7:1w Love &reet Bookstore by Dma Snow

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hink Christmas! I know this is only October but now is the time to start thinking of all the Baba lovers to whom you would like to give a spe cial Baba gift. And this is the right place to choose those gifts! Last year we started something special that proved to be very popular with you all— something to make your gifts more beautiftil and your gift giving even easier: for an extra $3 we will gift wrap your purchases in very special Christmas or Chanukah paper, bows included. Cherie Plumlee designed a Baba Christmas card, which for 3 (the regular price of all her photo cards) we can add to your gift. You can also purchase them outright to send to your very best Baba friends. See the inside back cover for the photos. So here follows the top all time favorites. I’m sure you will be able to find something for everyone on your list amongst the following selections! We have six new videotapes and 4 new books—the overwhelming favorite ofwhich is Dreaming ofthe Beloved by Mani. I would think this book will be at the top of everyonec list. These are the dreams that Baba sent Mani in her later years, important dreams, profound dreams. In our last issue, Heather Nadel told us the story ofhow she and Mani and Sheriar Foun dation, Wodin and many others made sure that this book would happen. Well it finally has and what a thing of beauty it is! Hard bound, 80 pages, twentyfour double page spreads, frill color art creations by the artist

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All these videos run about an hour and are beautiftilly and very professionally produced. If four new videos are good how about two more?! Many ofyou may have seen the beauti ful film ofMeherBaba in Italy (shown at the Pilgrim Center and Myrtle Beach). We told you about it in ourlast issue. It skillfully com bines present day black and white footage of all the places Baba visited in the ‘30’s with the still photos taken at the time and a very complete and informative voice over. It is now available in video formatfor 35. The latest release from Meher Prasad (the company responsible for almost all our Baba videos) is entitled Mehera, Meher Babc Beloved. See the review on page x. This tape runs 42 mmutes and sells for $39.95. The best-selling video re leased this year was undoubt edly Beyond Words. Produced by Sheriar Foundation from the 1967 documentary shot by professional film maker Louis Van Gasteren. It is breathtaking (and indeed, beyondwords!) in the imme diacy ofthe footage. Short of being in His presence, this is the next best thing! The quality ofthe 35mm film is unlike anything we have ever previ ously seen ofBaba. Worth buying a VCR just toviewit! 28 minutes, $52. A video that has been out for a few years now but is still one ofour best sellers is Eter nat Beloved. Produced by Meher Prasad, it

Mani chose to do this work—Wodin. The size ofthe book is 8.5 x 10.5 inches and the unbelievable price is 22. You read it right! $22. There will be an enormous scramble to get this book so get your orders in early. Wendell Brustman has released the first four videos in The Witness Series. There will be many more to follow—see the story on page 31. We have been given the linchpin of the series MeherBaba LordandFriend, being an hour long talkwith Mehera. 54.95.

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AllThis andHeaven Too, a talkwith Mani as she remembers her childhood with Baba is priced at $49.95. The Belovedc WatchdogAgnes Baron re members Meher Baba, $38.95. Living With God is Irene Billo’s tales of her life in Baba’s Ashram, also $38.95.

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has a run time of4O minutes and some fabu bus footage ofBaba that has been color cor rected and sharpened to the point where the quality is just about equal with the recently filmed interviews with Mani, Goher, and the other mandali who tell us what Baba was doing and where He was in the preceding frames. Verywell worth the 5O! Bill Stephens has given us the follow up to his Footprints in the Sand This one is titled Souls on Fire. Paperback, $12. See the review on page 33 for details. Bal Natu has written the third in the tril ogy ofhis Conversations with the Awakener. This one is tided Intimate Conversations and is in the same format as the previous two. fl2. Lives ofLove, the stories about all the women mandali, is written by Australian Judith Garbett from over 30 (accumulative) years spent in their company. It was hugely popular when I brought it back with me from Avatar’s Abode and sold out almost im mediately. We now have a second shipment in. Large format, fl7. Ifyou, along with Baba, feel that Francis Brabazon is one great poet, you will really enjQy The Water Carrier. It is written by Robert Rouse, who was one ofthe original builders ofthe Abode, and whom Baba asked, along with his wife Lorna, to stay on the property and caretake. He has spent many years in the company of Francis. Excerpts have ap peared from time to time in the Meher Baba Australia newsletter, but now, hot off the press is the paperback, along with some defi nitely archival photographs! Robert calls it a mosaic ofFrancis, and it is a fascinating insight into the workings of the mind of Francis Brabazon. Paperback, 86 pages, $12. The third book I brought back with me from Australia is a coloring book for older children and adults who still love to pick up the colored pencils and color in—especially when it is The Beloved’s face you are working (playing?) on. These are excellent 9x12 por traits ofBaba that Claire Mataira has done for the cover ofthe Aussie newsletter Meher BabaAustralia. Surrounding the portrait are all sorts offlowers, trees, animals etc. that make it a deightfialpastime to color in.They are in a writing pad format, 15 in all, so after coloring each picture you can tear it offand put on the refrigerator, laminate it, frame it, or whatever. Aussie’s coloring book, $5 .50 each. At this writing Hermes tells me that Vol ume 13/14 ofthe LordMeher Series will be

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available by Christmas. I do have all the oth ers as well. Vols. 3,4, and 5 are the only single editions left and are priced at $45. All the rest are 2 volumes combined for $80. Call me for details. Two books that were released this year to great acclaim were from EliNor publications— Letters ofLove and Norinac Gift. Both are hardbound, the former $25 and the latter $20. Letters ofLove are not just the letters to and fromJane Haynes, Baba and the mandali, but also a lot of information about Elizabeth Patterson and the founding ofMeher Spintual Center at Myrtle Beach. Norinac Gift is a re-publication ofthe long out ofpnint Frag ments FrornA SpiritualDiary and Forty Spintual Messages. Charles Haynes and Christopher Wilson have uncovered some great archival photographs ofPnincess Norma Matchabelli and combined them with a com prehensive biography, tracing the development ofher life and work, from world renowned actress and film star, to co-founder ofthe fa mous perffimery to disciple ofMeher Baba. A must for every artist is the wonderful book In Questofthe Face ofGod It is written by Lyn Ott and is filled with full color re productions of many of his finest works. Large format, hand coven, $30. Danny Ladinsky’s two renderings of the works ofHafez still continue to be great sellens. (Also doing venywell in the commercial bookstores across the country!) They would also make a wonderful gift for non Baba byens, simply choose which you thinkyour friend might be most interested in—humor on love. The first one is IHeard GodLaughing, $14 and the second The Subject Tonight is Love, $ 10. They are both absolutely delightftil yet profound reading. A book that is only available in India or The Love Street Bookstore is Much Love by T.K. Ramanujam. Ifyou can only afford one book about Mehen Baba this is the one to get. It is incredibly comprehensive: the index alone covers eight pages. Pant 1 contains a chronological listing ofthe events in the life of the Avatar from birth to death; Parts 2-7 cover all His important messages and declarations, prayers, songs and on and on. Apart from making good reading, having it all under one coven makes it an excellent reference work. It is hardbound, 6 x 9 with 606 pages, and sells for $20. The best selling book in our Bookstore, up until now, has been the autobiography of

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(z 4x 3 @ Arnavaz Dadachanji, GftofGod (excluding, ofcourse, GodSpeaks and Discourses). It is a very intimate accounting ofhen life with Baba and her struggles to abide by His wishes at all times. Papenback, 242 pages, with numerous photographs, $18. Another ‘must have’ is that wonderful collection of Baba stories from Enuch. If a trip to India is not on youn horizon, punchase Thatc How it Was and be transported to Mandabi Hall, sitting comfortably, listening to Eruch speak of his life in the service of the Beloved. This book is a compilation of 2 other long-out-of-print books plus a whole new set oftabes ofadventunes with the Master. Hardbound $25, paperback $15, 412 pages. Delving into the musical realm we have the incredibly popular, runaway best-selling CD byMarc DeMatteis—How Many Lfi times ?Wonds, music, melodies, instrumenta tions, it has it all—ballads, gentle sweet numbers, and rousing nock’n’ roll. Christmas special only $12! There is also the double CD from Raphael Rudd TheAwakening. One ofthe CD’s is a re-release ofSkydancerwhich contains the ex quisiteby sung GujeratiArti by Jane Brown. The other disc in the set is a selection of songs and instrumentals Raphael recorded in the late ‘70’s with Pete Townshend and a pick up drummen name ofPhil Collins! $20 is a fabu bus deal fon two CD’s! Relentless Love is a tape (no CD unfortu nately) by the incomparablejim Meyer. It has been around for a few years now, still his lat est release though, so ifyou don’t already own it, this tape comes highly recommended. $12. Song ofHuma, Volume 2 is another best seller. For those ofyou unfamiliar with this beautiflil tape, itwas produced by Elalne Cox who took top recording equipment to India and recorded the women Mandali singing the ghazals that Baba had written under the pen name ofHuma in the early ‘20’s. As the women were singing a capella, Elaine then had the recordings beautifully accompanied by some very Indian sounding flutes, tablas and syn thesizens. Before each song Elaine reads the English translation so we get the full beauty ofthe piece. The words are all written on the inside of the j ay card, and at oven an hour of superb Baba music, $12 is a very reasonable price. The tape My Heart is Calling You is also verypopular.This is a collection ofthe songs


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Mani wrote for her Beloved Brother. She is singing and accompanying herselfon sitar on a number of them. The others are sung by people in India at the time—including the Twins singing the song Be Be Be With Baba that Mani wrote specifically for them. $10. Baba Bob is a tape made quite a few years ago with some great singing and playing from Deborah Ashe and Michael Campagna. The original 1000 album pressing has long since been sold out, but at last it has been re released! $12. The two CD’s that are the hot sellers in the Bookstore now are from Muzika—the “Wonder from Down Under” led by Sam Saunders. (See box) It’s hard to pick a favourite betweenABox ofDrearns and The Street ofBarefoot Lovers. The group was singing songs from both al bums during the Anniversary celebration, so I got to know many ofthem, but through continual playing upon my return to L.A. I have now formed firm favourites Top ranking are the ghazals by Francis! You can’t go wrong with either CD. $15 each. We have four very talented ladies who create the most beautiful cards for us. Margo Watson and Cherie Plumlee take black and white photos ofBaba, and electronically scan them, color them and place them with a new background—usually a gorgeous field offlowers, or a desert (when Baba was dressed as Mohammed), the barren hills ofCalifornia, or in a sylvan glen, among many other scenes. Whichever way they do it, theylook exquis ite. Carolyn Parker takes a photo of Baba, places live flowers on it around His face, or a headband, or a garland and photographs the result, to great effect. Diana LePage paints wonderfttl portraits of Baba. All these cards are glossy photographs on good quality card stock with matching envelopes—$3 each. You could al ways tell me ofa particular photo ofBaba you are looking for, or failing specifics, what years you liked Him best. That may sound flanny, but some people feel that He speaks to them most in His middle years, or, converselywhen He was young and fiery, so just ask us about what we have in stock. Another item that has to be on everybody’s list is the calendar. It’s time to order your Ava tar Meher Baba Calendars for 1999. It is something everyone wants and needs, to start the year off right and keep it going aU year long, because each time you look at it you see

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the beautifril face ofBabalooking back at you, read His inspiring words and seejust what in the Baba world transpired on what particular day, especiallyyour birthday! See the add on page 22. Christina Arazmo, the very talented Floridian who creates these works ofart for us each year has been able to hold the price at $8, a verylow price for such a beautiful item. Ifyou buy 5, you get them for $7 each. Any profit from the production ofthese calendars goes to the Trust. So that’s it from the Bookstore. I hope we have helped you decide what you would like to put on your Christmas wish list and given you plenty ofideas to bringjoy to your friends. And that is what I wish for you all. In His love, Dma

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‘Notes From The Internet” Coneinziedfrom page 6.

Another from Jamie Newell The new video ofMehera, MeherBabac Belovedby Meher Prasad, is one ofthe most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Beautiful footage ofMehera describing the first time she saw Baba, beautiful still photos of Mehera and Baba, and a wonderfully heartfelt narra tion by Mehera’s niece, and fellow Mandali, Meheru. This is must viewing for those who have never been with Mehera, and a heart tuggingjoy for those who wish to renew old memories ofbeing with Mehera on the porch, or at “Mehera’s Tea.” Words cannot describe how wonderftd this video is. P. 5. (I swear I’m notjust saying this because I have a song in the sound track!)

And fromJoe Stewart Wonderful video. She is purity personi fled. This video will bring fond memories to many. For new people coming to Baba the video provides a wonderful insight as to who Mehera was and the role she played in this Avataric age. Continued on page 73.

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uzika has been performing for about 8 years. Originally a South American style band, I decided it was time to become more diverse when a lot of simi lar but authentic bands started up in Brisbane. But my love for this music is ap parent in the instrumentals. The River ofDust I had been listening to African guitar music and was moved by the rhythm and simplicity. One day, in a state of non-inspiration, I went to Francis’ ( Brabazon) grave on Avatar’s Abode to sit and muse. An idea shot up within me about setting this ghazal to dance music (one of the greatest thrills for a musician is to see people dancing to the music) and I immedi ately sought out the African feel that I had heard. I already had a basic melody for the ghazal so setting the tune to the rhythm came easily. Ilaughed at the thought ofFrancis hearing the end result. ABox ofDreams: What a beautifulghazal! It started off as country/blues but I pushed it too into the African zone. The OmarKhayyam Suite:This is my mid-life crisis. LjfeJustF1ies’is an adaptation from a couple of translations and worked so well I added another two pieces and made a suite. I think ‘Outside The Thvern’with the kena (Pe nivian flute) solo is my favourite. Someone to Wash OverMe: People kept asking “Is this the Gershwin tune?”—I said no. And I was right! About a man seeking the ocean of love. In This World: Starring offwith a counterpoint choral style it launches into a frenzied dance. Shiva’s dance. The Street ofBarefoot Lovers: Francis wrote this ghazal after reading a book ofthat title... about life, love, and poverty in a Mexican plaza. Again the west coast African guitar pre dominates. InMyHeart (In My Soul):Words are adapted from Francis and has an overall South Amencan feel.

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Welcome Home Nana Kher Postings to the Avatar Meher Baba Listserv ding a fond good-bye to our dear brother Nana Kher. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! Eruch and Meherazad Mandali

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eloved Avatar Meher Baba’s greeting of”Welcome Home!” was received with joy by Nana G. Kher, on 5 August, 1998. Nana Kher was a longtime lover of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba and custodian of Beloved Baba’s Samadhi at Meherabad. Our dear Nana Kher is indeed blessed to have won his race into the waiting arms of his Beloved Lord and Master, Avatar Meher Baba. Dear Nana’s one-pointed devotion and service in the Cause ofhis Lord is a unique example to the Baba world; an eyeopener for every Baba lover who strives to live a dedicated life in the Cause of Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. All Meherazad and Meherabad men and women mandali, residents and pil grims from around the woridjoin us in bid-

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n Wednesday afternoon, about 6:30 pm, Nana Kher, Meherabad resident, longtime prasadi at Meher Baba’s Samadhi, long-time Baba lover, and formerly a long-time hugger, went to Baba. I suppose there will be someone up there to tell him “Welcome Home,” as he told so many of us over the years as we returned to Baba’s tomb. Nana, as we all called him, had come to Baba before Baba’s New Life phase, and when Baba dropped the body, he was one of the immediate crowd that gathered in early February of 1969. At that time, it was de cided that there should be someone at the Samadhi continouslywhile it was open, and Nana was selected to perform that role. In the earlyyears it was only Nana, Mansari, and Jangli Master who sat at the Samadhi, handing out prasad, with the largest share of time, by far, going to Nana.

Afriend ofours heard someone in Mandali Hall say to Eruch, “You knov, Eruch, Nana Kher is the best hugger. I think he may even be better than you!” Th which Eruch replied, 4h, but hec a profissional!”

Nana had been in failing health for the last few years, his illness and old age gradu ally consuming more and more of his energy, but he still regularly attended evening Arti, handing out prasad, until the end. He will be remembered by all of us for his bying greetings and wonderful Baba stories, which he used to tell in the library on top of the Hill just before Arti. He is another wicket gone in a field that now contains only a few. In His Love, Jai Baba,

J ames Cox, Meherabad

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one could ever welcome me home with the loving tenderness, and the sweet up-turn of his voice, that Nana could. He will be very much missed by many. I remember being told that, when Nana first met Baba, Baba asked him if he could obey Him. Nana said, “Yes, Baba!” Baba replied, “would you walk through the city streets naked ifl asked you?” Nana im mediately stood up and started removing his clothes. Baba gestured to him to sit down and said “I am very short ofmoney right now, I want you to go into town and rob the Bank of India, can you do it?” Nana said “Yes, Baba!” and headed out the door to accom plish the task. Baba was very pleased with Nana Kher’s obedience and He called him back and embraced him. Nana has been with Meher Baba ever since. Jai Baba,

J amie Newell, Nashville, Tennessee

Jai Baba, Jamie Newell


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ai Meher Baba! Nana Kher passed away tonight. His ftrneral pyre will be lit tomorrow, Thursday the 6th ofAugust, at 9:45 AM. He was the prasad giver at Baba’s Tomb since 1969. When one would come up for Baba’s darshan, he would say to them, “WEL COME HOME!” And when Arti was over, he would say, “TIME TO DEPART WITH BABA!” He passed out prasad until he passed out in his room about 2 weeks ago. He was taken to a hospital, where he ultimately died. When it came to be known that Nana col lapsed during the night, a few weeks ago, our doctor went to see him, and asked him how he was. Nana said, “I am not this body, I am not this mind.” I just came back a couple of minutes ago from Mandali Hall at Meherabad where Nana is lying in state. He is definitely not that BODY! With love and care,

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Meherabad style leader with his scarf rrangemcnts—sometimes wound as a turban, sometimes as a sort of cagoul. But what I always think of with Nana Kher is that moment he held us in at the Samadhi, before starting to say the Parvardigar. There was always that moment. Gathering all the threads of attention. All of us hanging on the moment when he would start speaking the words of the prayer. An ephemeral si lence at the start and at the end ofeach day. One evening I left my tote bag up there. Careless! In the bag I had passport, travel documents, etc. I remembered I’d left it up there when I was in the dining room. Couldn’t go back on my own at that time of night. Had to ask someone else to go with me. Really embarrassing because it was supper time, and I’d done it again! Cecily from Australia accompanied me back up the hill. As we approached the Samadhi, Nana Kher saw us, two figures in the darkness, and called out, “What have you lost?” I jokingly called back, “My head!” And his voice hollered back, “Good!” He’d found the bag and locked it up in the tomb for safety! It never left my side for the rest of my

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journey from India to Australia, on to the USA and home to England. Loving thoughts to Nana Kher on his journey back home. Jai Beloved Baba, Sarah McNeill, England

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Departing With Baba by Heather Nadel

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you were one of those who walked up Meherabad Hill for the first time in the 1970’s, ‘80’s, or early ‘90’s, most probably you were greeted at the entrance ofBeloved Baba’s Samadhi with “Welcome Home” and a loving embrace from Nana Kher. On 5th August 1998, Nana passed away at the age of 80 in Ahmednagar, after 57 years ofclose connection with Avatar Meher Baba. He is most remem bered for his service as the main attendant at the Samadhi for over 20 years. When advancing age and poor health dictated his re tirement from that position, Nana continued to serve on theHill as Librarian, and up until his final hospitalization heled the eveningArti. (Sec ond in popularity to “Wel come Home” was Nana’s closure for the Arti “Time to depart with Baba,” im mortalized byBob Brown in song.) Nana’s brother Vinod recently filled us in on Nana’s lifestory. He was born in 1918, into a well-educated family, the third of three brothers and five sisters. As a child, Nana’s first exposure to spirituality came from his maternal uncle, with whom the children and their mother often stayed, as Nana’s father, a judge, was continually transferred from place to place. Everydaythis unclewould speakto the cliiidren about spiritual things, telling them sto ries from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, tales ofthc Perfect Masters, and so on. They would also go with their mother for Tauddin Baba’s darshan, in the company oftheir elder uncle who was a devotee ofTajuddin Baba.

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(A fascinating aside as they grew older, this elder uncle continued to visit the family, and would share stories and teachings ofTajuddin Baba with the boys. Once Nana asked him how he could follow a Muslim when he was

Nana Kher with Mansari.

an orthodox Hindu, and his gods were Ram and Krishna. The uncle replied that he had asked Tauddin Baba this very thing, “How can we believe in a Muslim Master when we are followers ofRam and Krishna?”Tajuddin Baba Himselfhad told him, “Koran Sharifme

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Ram aur Krishnaka jikra Rahim aur Karim karke haiy”, which means, “Ram and Krishna are mentioned in the Holy Koran as Rahim and Karim, prophets from an earlier time.”) After their schooling in Nagpur, their fa ther sent the boys to Buldana along with their uncle, to the home of a cousin. This cousin, a Sanskrit scholar, happened to be a disciple ofUpasni Maharaj, and he caused alot ofturmoil in the family soon after by leaving his job and joining Maharaj’s ashram. This was very scandalous among their community as there was alot of controversy surrounding Maharaj in those days, and Nana’s father went to try to bring him back, but to no avail. Nana grew up and went to Morris College in Nagpur, where in 1940-41, he took a philosophy course taught by Dr. C. D. Deshmukh, editor of Baba’s Discourses. Dr. Deshmukh had included Baba’s teachings under Indian philosophy and thus was Nana introduced to his marvelous destiny. He and his brother Vinod, under Dr. Deshmukh’s tutelage, read The Discourses, Avatar, and some Baba magazines, and rapidly became Baba-lovers. Nana first met Baba in Ahmednagar. Nana had finished college, earning a B.A. degree, and he was stationed in Poona for service in the military accounts department during the war. Dr. Deshmukh gave him Eruch’s address, and soon after Eruch invited Nana to his wedding in Ahmednagar, at which Baba was to be present. After meeting Baba, Nana became more deeply devoted to Him than ever and


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used to sing Baba’s bhajans (devotional songs) constantly.The effect ofthis on his neighbors was striking when his brother Vinod went to visit Nana in his lodgings, he found the neighbors saying “Meher Baba ki Jai!” every time Nana stepped out ofhis room! At the end of the war, with his military service over, Nana went back to Nagpur and started a shop. With Baba’s picture hanging in a prominent place, and Nana talking about Baba to everyone who came in, it became a mini-Baba center and gathering place for Baba-lovers, such as Babadas, who would come to the shop and speak to people about Baba.This was the beginning ofthe Nagpur Baba group. When Baba came to Nagpur in 1944, all Nana’s family had Baba’s darshan and became devoted to Him. Thereafter Baba would often call Nana to be with Him during darshan programs in different places. Nana, ofcourse, wanted to join Baba permanently. But knowing this, his father wrote to Baba, asking Him to please allow Nana to stay at home with his parents and look after them. Baba granted the father’s request, ordering Nana to stay in Nagpur, care for his parents, and do Baba’s work. From then on, with several other close Baba-lovers from Nagpur, Nana spread Baba’s Name and mes sage, held Baba meetings, and remained in close touch with Baba through Enich and later Bhau, seeing Baba from time to time. Fortunately for Nana, each summer his brother Vinod would come home from college and staywith their parents. Nana would then be called by Baba to stay with Him for three months at Guruprasad. Dr. Goher recalls that in 1968, during Baba’s seclusion in Guruprasad, He would have Nana and Bal Natu come to His room after He retired each evening and sing a long song/chant (Nave Manache Sholka) in Marathi, telling ofBaba’s life-story and philosophy. This sholka, written by Dr. Anna Despande, was much liked by Baba, and Nana continued to sing a part of it every day for the rest ofhis life. As fate would have it, one month before Beloved Baba dropped His body, Nana’s fa ther passed away, leaving Nana free to come to Baba. Which he did, in AprilJlVIay 1969, to serve at Meherabad as the main attendant at Baba’s Samadhi.

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it was that Nana came to spend the latter years ofhis life in his Beloved’s ser vice at Meherabad. After he passed away,

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those who knew him lovingly recalled the steadfastness of Nana’s love and service for Baba, and the rare and beautiftil simplicity of his life oftotal dedication to Him. As helay in state before Baba’s chair in the Meherabad Hall, surrounded by family and friends, songs and flowers, his serene smile seemed to bear witness to his great fortune. And it was easy to imagine beloved Avatar Meher Baba opening His arms and welcoming Nana Home. Avatar Meher Baba kijai! Heather Nadel in correspondence for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, August 1998.

‘Notes From The Internet” continuedfrorn page 9.

Stephan Pietrowski tells us of Wisdom from a tea bag “Poise is the act ofraising the eyebrows rather than the roof”

Meher Baba Wrote .Again,whatis spirituality? Poise, perfect poise. Make the most ofevery situation. He who upsets no one is a good man. He who is upset by no one is a God-Man!” “. .

Lord Meher Vol. Seven & Eight, Bhau Kaichuri, p. 2544

Eric of Oslo [EveydayEric Solibakke ofOslo Norwaypostsa quotefrorn Baba. He never injects anythingper sonaijust lets Babtfc words stand on their own. Autumn Heniy ofCalfrniaposted a well de servedthankyou asfollows.]

Dear Eric, How can we ever thankyou for all that you do for the Baba group? I was so touched by this Mani story And howkind ofyou to be so timelywith it. What a giftyou are to this group I don’t knowwhatwe would do without your constant stability and oh so appropriate choices. I often thinkyou are like a psychic painterwithjust the right color at just the right place...

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Sahavas I want each ofyou to

come with the longing to receive My Sahavas. I want this Sahavas to be above all a close companionshz between your Beloved and His lovers... Come with the p reparedness to receive fully whatever I may give you. Be ready to step into the intimacy of Sahavas. Thereyou willfind the treasure complete... He who approaches Me with a heart full oflove has My Sahavas. Meher Baba

Continued on page 41.

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The 24th Los Angeles Sahavas by Robert Dreyftss, California ,

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Robert Drey,flis giving his workshop on Silence Day experiences.

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took place at Pilgrim Pines fromJuly2nd to the 5th. It was a marvelous Baba-frifi, fm-filled four days basking in Hislove.The guest speakers were the inimitable Bhau Kaichuri, Robert Dreyffiss,Jamie Newell, and Pratap A}iir from Pune. While the main presen tations were occurring, the ever-thoughtful LA staff provided concurrent activi ties for the Meher Minia tures and for the younger ones as well. Every detail was attended to, giving us the affirmation that only Baba working through all -

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Pratap Ainirc workshop zeath the trees.

I The Love Street Bookstore.

could have prepared such a feast for the heart, while the Love Street Bookstore provided loving delights for all the intellect could desire. Bhau spoke each day, dis coursing on ways of increas ing our love for Beloved Baba, sparkling with anec dotes of his life with Him, and deftly folding in stories illustrating how we may more attentively serve Him when and as opportunities are presented to us. On Thursday evening, I Robert, Jamie and Pratap took turns sharing some themes of their life with Him. Jamie in song, Pratap about his first learning ofBaba, and Robert regaling the audience with mandali anecdotes. As people continued to arrive throughout the day and evening, there were heartfelt hugs, cries of”Jai Baba!” and endless cups of delicious toddy shop chai. Friday dawned with Arti, followed by a heartybreakfast. Pratap movingly told of how he first met Baba on October 16, 1950, when He stepped out of the New life and into the Old Life for one day to meet with His lovers at Mahabaleshwar. Pratap, an ac complished musician, became an active member of the Poona Bhajan Mandali and a regular visitor at Guruprasad when Baba was present in the summer months. Pratap’s i

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t early contact with many ofBaba’s old and dear ones had a profound impact on him, and helped him devote himselfever more ardently in Baba’s love and service.

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Mehera and Shireen Non.

Workshops and discussion circles were a daily event, offering diverse op tions for head and heart. Among those given were talks by Leatrice Shaw on mindfulness, Adele Wolkin on her experiences with Baba, Robert Dreyfuss on Silence Day experiences, J arnie Newell on relationships and Hafiz, Alisa Dreyfuss on Baba dreams, and many more. The adult and children’s talent shows once again aptly proved what an amazing amount of talent Baba brings out in so many ofHis lovers in song, dance, and skits. Jamie then gave a concert of old and new songs. He has put a number of Hafiz’s poems to song, which are beautiful and inspiring. Bobby Manonash followed, which was hi-

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larious. Bobby, akaJeffMaguire, along with his sidekick, Ed McMaya (Fred Stankus), had everyone in stitches. It so happened that Bobby had been told by Bhau that ifhe read God Speaks seven times by a specific date, he would experience the 7th plane, and that time was now. As he read through the last entries of the index, he grew visibly changed, and donning his tea cozy crown, suddenly knew everything. He asked Ed McMaya to tell him what he wanted, as Bobby could now grant anywish. Ed’s sole desire at that moment was for a Moon Pie—an ice cream cookie confec tion—which suddenly started appearing by the dozens, with Bobby and Ed throwing them out to the audience as fast as they ap peared. Bobby then fell back to the gross world with a spectacular crescendo, leaving everyone laughing uncontrollably. on the third day of the Gathering,

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Baba first conveyed His messages concerning drugs, and His emphasis on not taking them. When Baba told Robert that He had been with him all the way, it brought home

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that He is with each ofus “all the way” on our journey to Him in our own hearts. After a concert by Pratap on Saturday afternoon, followed by a talk by Bhau, the film “0 Parvardigar” was shown, after which everyone silently wended their way to the Dhuni, the flame ofwhich lighted our hearts with the growing desire to love and serve Him more and more and still yet Lunch table companions: Fnorn Left Sam Invilz, Manganet Magnus, more. Kanina and John Page, Jeannie and Thny Gnis, The last morning had Pratap, Steve Benny, and Mangit Wypyszyk. Robert, and Jamie sharing more in song andword, followed byBhau helpthe journey from head to heart illustrate ing Robert Dreyfuss increase our determination must we how and his movingly told that this had been the said Bhau His. be to story ofjourney praise indeed, though high ever, Sahavas best ing overland to same every year. the feels he well be may it meet Baba for a the conviction strengthened Sahavas The Sahavas that was it is to step rewarding and necessary ofhow canceled while he of His the gathering into e ofordinarylif out was enroute. As our arises, the opportunity whenever lovers he tearfully re and deepened, conviction our open, heart more lived his experi our souls more on fire to realize Him. ence of being in Avatar Meher Baba kiJai! Beloved Baba’s presence, many in the audi*[Editori note—Robert understates this byfar. ence wept. Baba’s compassion when hefinished telling his incredibly moving in allowing Robert to see and be with Him, despite the fact story there wasn a dry eye in the house!He is such an accomplishedstory teller we were allthere with that He was in strict seclusion, him as he walked into Babaipresence!J resonated in everyone’s hearts. It was during this time that

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A History ofthe L.A. Sahavas “Toddy Shop” byTerry Lucas and Roman Babiak

[Inadvertantly omittedfrom our last issue in the ‘Tributes to Roman’ section.]

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wrong area—He should have been in the patio next to thejunior Lodge, where Roman had spotted the perfect place for a snack bar! In about twenty minutes time, I had de signed the idea of an Indian Tea Stall and had completely decorated it mentally with brass bells and bowls, Christmas tree lights, Indian bedspreads for the Pandal and the recipe for continuously flowing chai, all accom

the fall of1986, meetings for the prepa ration of the 1987 Los Angeles Sahavas Celebration began. Someone needed to run the Snack Bar at the Sahavas, a very large undertaking which had had varying degrees ofsuccess in the past. Roman Babiak and I decided to shoul der the burden. We felt that we could have ftin and make a suc cess of the snack bar at the same. But what to do that would be special and rewarding, not only to ourselves, but to all the Sahavas guest and friends who came each year? Roman and I began ex ploring ideas, but none seemed very appealing. We met frequently to toss around ideas, creating the inventory of foods we needed to purchase and other pertinent supplies. Thddv Shop-walla Daniel Comerford and Luke Jarnison at this sumrnerc All pretty boring stuffi And then, itjust happened! Roman and I were meeting at my house panied bylndian music and a sandwich board to discuss what to do. But this time, I was advertising the Toddy Shop’s wares. Roman very anxious for Roman to arrive because I completed the lists ofgames and constructed had had a phenomenal dream the previous on paper a moveable tea stall that we could night. In my dream, I saw a very young erect at each Sahavas. It was fast, furious and Meher Baba sweeping the patio area outabsolutely the most fim! TheToddy Shop was side the cafeteria ofPilgrim Pines. Baba had born at what I believe was Meher Baba’s re looked up at me and said, “I am sweeping quest; we merely carried out His instructions the floor of the Toddy Shop; everyone has to the best ofour ability. ftin here and I don’t mind sweeping the floor. When we presented this idea and Remember, I like all sorts of games and showed our plans to the next Sahavas cornmusic.” mittee meeting, the excitement was infec Yikes! A Toddy Shop where everyone tious! Roman enlisted the help of David could eat, play games and music, talk and McNeely to do the physical construction of have a wonderful time, all in Meher Babas the tea stall who carried out the plan mag memorc .the One Who always sweeps up nificently. We assembled it one afternoon in after us! Exciting smff this, but what would a trial run, working out the bugs for the Roman think? height of the counters, the seating for the Roman, clever man, said, yes, it was a Toddy Shop guests and the rigging of the wonderful idea and one he had thought of Pandal. I raided the boxes ofarticles donated himself. But Baba was sweeping in the to the Center for a future rummage sale, find$

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ing a variety ofbrass, Indian bangles and bells, and pitchers and bowls. Several ofus began to paint a large sandwich board with the sil houette ofthe Taj Mahal painted on a background ofblue, saving a place for the actual menu” to be posted. Finally, the first day of the Sahavas ar rived. David hauled the unassembled tea stall up in his truck and I arrivedwith food, Indian bedspreads, tape recorder and Indian music, lights, staple gun, string and tape. I watched as Ro man and David began to assemble the stall, attaching ropes and securing the structure. I cleaned out an area used for mak ing pottery, kiln and all, to use as our make-shift kitchen with a hot plate, large pots, a picture of Meher Baba on the wall and a large amount oftea. Several oth ers pitched in to help decorate the stall: Roman’s Indian bedspread was the Pandal, and my Indian rug from my first trip to India was used on the counters. It had coycahavas. ered theTomb and felt like an ap propriate use for the many to receive a vicarious blessing while sharing tea. It’s still being used. The lights went up, all courtesy of Pris Haffenden who raided her closet for old Christmas tree lights.The brass was hung from the ceiling by string, the music went on and Wow! We had a Toddy Shop! Tea would be ready in a minute. Now, Toddy Shops have sprung up at every Sahavas around the country. Imita tion is flattering; the fun is infectious! But, the history of this amazing little blip on Meher Baba’s road map needed to be told. And the energy and creativity ofmy friend Roman needed to be acknowledged. I will miss him very, very much.


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My Favorite Sahavas byDon Stevens, France was Dma who suggested writing about my favorite sahavas experience, and I can’t so I set my mind imagine saying ‘no’ to to work immediately. And then the surprises began. I’m not at all sure that what memory and instinct turned up will be at all acceptable to Dma, nor to anyone else. But one thing I think I have learned after all these years, is that one never knows into what strange alley the Avatar is going to lead one next. So here goes. Ofcourse, ifone ever had that incompa rable grace of being in the presence of the Avatar, that had to be one’s favorite sahavas. Ifone had several such experiences, then the selection process becomes more difficult, as each time one stands in His presence, a unique sequence unfolds. And choosing one’s favorite just simply is not obvious. No one could have been more surprised than I when I put Dma’s request to the Stevens computer system, and then saw shortly thereafter what it turned up. In fact I was a bit horrified, as one ofthe centerpieces of the occasion is one of my most shameful memories. But I was asked for it, and I think I had better live with it. It was way back in the 60s, and Baba had been in one of those longer seclusion penods which happened so often at that time. I had my magic key on hand, so I was sitting nevertheless in front ofHim in mandali hail and Eruch was explaining something Baba wanted to be clear in my mind. In fact, I think it was the occasion on which He underlined the importance to everyone ofworking with His words, and not regarding them just as intellectual playthings to amuse the uniniti ated. As Enuch talked on in rhythm to Baba’s gestures, I suddenly became aware that something was disturbing Baba’s attention, and then Eruch’s. Finally, impatiently, Baba gestured to Eruch to go outside and find out the cause of some disturbance that I hadn’t even noted. We waited bane moments until Eruch returned and explained I think in Gujerati what the trouble was. This was the sign to me that the subject was one in which I had best not interfere.

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But then Baba looked straight at me and trail across my unconsciousness, I was smit ten and I knew inevitably that I was in for it. gestured as Eruch interpreted, “Don, can you imagine, a young fellow Yes, instantly! “Don, what are you thinking?” has just been sent out here by Adi Sn. de Never in my life have I thought so many spite the fact that Adi and everyone else knows that Baba is in strict seclusion. Ap thoughts in a split second. Honesty. Love. parently Adi felt sorry for him, as he had Fidelity. Disgrace. They were all there and worked his way to India from America on a having a big fight that I knew instinctively freighter, then hitch-hiked up here, to find could never be resolved. Where did the that Baba was in seclusion. And Adi did not words come from? I mean, the next ones that have the sense to obey Baba’s strict orders not I uttered at the end of the fateful second. I don’t know. to interrupt His seclusion!” “Baba, I was thinking, what right do I It takes no imagination to divine that Stevens’s sahavas on that occasion was ru have to be sitting here at Your feet?” Baba looked me square in the eye for med. But ifl felt bad at the end ofthat brief explanation, it had nothing to compare with perhaps two seconds, which was pretty long my feelings after Baba’s next sentence. for Him. The He snapped His fingers. “Eruch, send the boy in.” “Eruch, go out and tell the fellow that Baba This was a great sahavas experience, one is in strict seclusion, and he should return at ofmyvery favorites with Baba. It taught me once to America!” Now we get to the awful part. Without that somewhere way down inside oneself the slightest reflection, the deepest part ofmy there is a part ofone’s being, or perhaps one nature said indelibly but absolutely silently, should say, the real being, that knows, and needs no time or thought to know the Truth “Baba, you are a real It was not the worst word in my vocabu andtosayit. lary, but the instant it had blazed its scarlet —.“

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Brown and Steven Barric—Anthony entertain at Meherana.

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Young Adult Sahavas at Meher Mount by Huma Alvarado, North Carolina and AnnaLena Phillips, South Carolina

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he first Young Adult Sahavas (for ages 18-35) was held August 7-9 this year at Meher Mount, a hilltop property above Ojai, two hours northwest ofLos Angeles, that Baba visited in 1956. Organizers MeheraMakeig,Julanne Lodge and Merwan Scott pulled the sahavas together in threeweeks after Bhau told them in Los Angeles, “Enough talk, talk, talk—itis timetodo, do, do!” Meher Mount board member Gigi Stankus urged them on and Meher Mount caretakers Jonathan and Kendra Crossen Burroughs were ideal hosts. Even when the Indian restaurant owners catenng Saturday dinner got lost and arrived an hourlate, few noticed. Notes from some ofthe thirtyormore sahavasees give glimpses ofwhathappened: “The first night, when the full moon came up and the rest ofthe world was covered in fog, MeherMountseemedlike thehighest, quietest, most beautiful and ancient place on earth.” ‘A memorable moment for me was seeing the artiperformedfor the first time.” “My first silent dip in the ocean at Baba’s tree...” I tookthejob ofwake-up-caller. Itwaswon derfül, because I got to go around, saying ‘Good moming,JaiBaba!’ andsmile ateveryperson atthe Sahavas. Mostofthem made agreatsleepyeffort and smiled back. What a wonderful thing that people could smile at someonewaking them up at 7o’dockinthe morning!” “The wake-up callers peering into my tent at sunrise ringing wind chimes and saymg ‘Jai Baba... Time for Arti in thirty mmutes. a very sweet wakeup call.” Once again Baba is the Supreme Planner. We had thought to build a wall of the foundation stones of the house where He spoke during His visit to Meher Mount. The wall took form in two hours, organized and guided by He who dwells in each heart. “I enjoyed the work project a lot. It was nice to be part ofbuilding something, and the wall came out so well. It will stand a long time and took so little time working as a group.”

“I really enjoyed the silent walk to Baba’s tree and the singing and storytelling under the bright moon.” “The moon was rising over the moun tains, flail and round like a golden peach.” “A wonderftil memory for me was see-

ifBaba had planned this long ago, that it is His gift that we have come together.” “After two cups ofchai, I couldn’t sleep, so I walked to Baba’s tree and sat behind it. I soon got worried about ants and other bugs and decided to climb up about ten feet into the tree. I sat there for about an hour. I could hear various animals and I felt at one with the tree. It felt like time stood still and yet it felt like I was ex penencrng the tree’s life. I felt Baba sitting below me, next to me, and in me. I didn’t want to leave but the chai was wearing off. I tried to sleep in the tree which was shaped almost perfectly for me to sleep in except for my left leg. IfI had fallen asleep I would have fallen down. It was a very medi tational experience.” “The last morning, a few of us gathered for morning arti at seven der Baba’s tree. We placed a framed photo ofBeloved Baba in the meeting point oftwo large branches, and placed a few fresh yellow flowers around it. Then we sat there in silence, feeling the embrace of His presence there.” “All that plus creek swimming, art and poetryworkshops, dancing and shared chores, good food and music. At the final meeting Sunday morning, there was enthusiastic talk about what we should do next year and heartfelt hopes that the feeling ofsahavas all shared be kept alive in His remembrance until then.

Christina Rarnsden directs the wa/i—builders.

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ing the intense moonlight the night of our evening arti, coupled with several shooting stars racing across the heavens. It was wonderfbl singing to Baba under the cosmic light ofthe night.” “One thing that I will always remember is the night we all sat together in spontane ous silence, on the hill, looking over the city and hills. I really had no idea what was truly happening in that moment, but Baba’s quote, ‘Things that are real are given and received in silence,’ sprung into my mind. What a giftwe received.Thankyou Baba.” “Standing along the path to the tree in the white bathing moonlight listening to the group of young adults gathered at the point saying the prayers, the moon shone down upon their crisp black sil houettes as the sleeping fog softened the moun tains below. It felt timeless, as if it could have been whenjesus came, or Buddha It felt so strongly as

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Salsa on the porch at Meher Mount. Photos by Flint Mednick.

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Wake Up, Portland, Wake Up! by Betty Lowman, Palo Alto, CA

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estled in the green hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is “Baba House,” a 5-acre farm that is home to the Wilson fam ily and, occasionally, the site ofthe Portland community’s annual summer sahavas. This year Bhau Kaichuri was their featured guest. On ThursdayJuly 16, there was a morning tea atJoannaTompkins’ home, and then, in the evening, Bhau spoke to a crowd of about 165 people at the University of Portland. He was very pleased at the number of new faces he saw—plenty of “public” at his public talk. His new ghazal “Wake Up, Portland, Wake Up!* was performed there by “Creator” Janice Reiman. An invitation was extended for any newcomer to come free to the weekend sahavas at Baba House. The next day, after a morning talk and pot luck at the home of David and Malini Raffo, sahavasees drove for about an hour out ofPortland to the little town of Scotts Mills, and the festivities began. At most, there were about 150 attendees, mainly from Oregon, Washington, California and Canada, some from farther away. The Wilson farm had been transformed for the occasion. Jim Wilson’s workshop/ barn housed the childrens’ arts and crafts area and the bookstore. Outside, a lean-to was festooned with Christmas lights and col orful cloths. Voila! aToddy Shop. Proprietor Rick Scheu dispensed spicy chai and never seemed to be without customers. A kind neighbor (an “Old Believer” in the Russian Orthodox tradition—similar to the Amish), allowed folks to park on his adjacent back lot, and tent campers spread out on the grassy hills. Great meals were served by a crew of volunteers headed up by Jean Wilson and her sisters, Marie and Joan. Huge bowiThils of sweet Oregon blackber ries, blueberries, and raspberries were an un forgettable offering at several meals. Bhau stayed in Baba House (he had given it the name a couple ofyears ago), and those who weren’t tent camping stayed at local bed and breakfasts. Bhau was in great spirits, giving four talks and visiting with the children and teens. We all learned at least the

Dale Draegerc beazitz7ilpainting ofBaba graced the stage at the Portland Sahavas. Photo by Lorraine King.

chorus to “Wake Up, Portland, Wake Up,” and sang it often. Arti was held Saturday and Sunday momings on a permanent stage built on a hilll ampitheatre in the Wilsons’ backyard. The music was divine, with John Connor on the harmonium andWard Parks,JimWilson, Rick Scheu and Ron Greenstein on guitars. After J im read one ofhis humorous ghazals to uproarious laughter, Ron Greenstein said, “Jim, you’re the only person I know who’s built a stage in his backyard, and now I know why!” The highlight ofSaturday evening was a

hillarious re-do of”The Wizard ofOz” called “The Master is God,” written and directed by Randel Williams of Seattle. The Seattle group had their finest hour that evening. Cos tumes and props, created by co-director Theresa Padvorac, were stunning, everyone remembered their lines, and producer Pete Pitcher and special props man Bob Johnsson createdjust the right setting. Cynthia Barnentos was a radiant good witch Glinda and “hunchkins” John and Barbara Connor and JeffTingelstad and Caitlin Hurkett danced and sang silly routines. Lance Bonnington, a mixed-up spititual seeker, Duncan Hurkett, a scientist who wanted a heart, and Cathenin Alpert, a yogini in search ofpowers, accom panied Dorothy (Dalia Taylor), who was in search ofher real self, down the Path to His Door, singing “Yogis and Sadhus and Masts, Oh My, Yogis and Sadhus and Masts, Oh My.”. On the way, they encountered the formidable obstacle Maya, played byJudy Robertson, but their purity ofheart and focu on their goal got them to His Door. The great “Shariat” (Randel Williams), was, of cou,rse found to be an impostor, and Dorothy learned that her real selfwas as close as her own heart. Bravo to the Seattle Group! After the play, dhuni under the starry Oregon sky was a quiet way to wind down from the festivities.The next morning, after Bhau’s last talk, happy and tired campers rolled up their bedrolls and headed home, content after a heart-frill weekend. . .

* This ghazal was orginally writtenfor Chicago, hut was later expanded to include all cities.

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The young adults and the young—at—heart under Babac Tree at Meher Mount.

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: Paul Bermudez, Robyn Chernrinow, Cookie Reindeau and Went/p Ward in linefor the cbittlinc.

“Chez Meherabode.

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ur first anniversary in our new Center was celebrated in a major way with our Dinner Auction. The main meeting hail was turned into an elegant restaurant with pink tablecloths, candles, and tulips in crystal vases. Our catered buffet dinner was Southern Comfort style. The food was excellent, but oh, the items up for auction! The one that brought the most for the evening was an original manuscript by Bhau H,300 Kaichuri of a play that he had written at Baba’s request The Ancient One. There were many other original works of art, water Baba had bathed in, mandali signed books, a first edition ofAvatar inscribed to Helen Dahm from Jean Adriel and oh so many smaller treasures at the Silent Auction tables. As usual Fred Stankus was our auctioneer and Jeff Maguire our lively Master of Ceremonies. All told, we raised $13,555, and had a marvelous time doing it! —

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Inadvertently ornittedfrom July issue.

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Our workers who labored ceaselesslyfor months bforehand—from left Rosie C/wi, Windy Ward, Linda Zavala, Mahoo Ghorbani, Karma Page.

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Rob Ward and Rosie Choi, on the right, huntingfor treasures at the Silent Auction tables.

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Meherabode Center and Grounds The Facilities Report by Linda Zavala ° meet the requirements ofthe Condi tional Use Permit we have installed the new curb, new sprinklers and sod and it really looks wonderftil as one drives down the street to the enter the Center gates. It is now all lush and green. We have also repaired or replaced a few sprinklers on the property and installed a new timer for all the sprinklers and pond pump. Hedge plants ofPlumbago and Bou gainvillea have been planted along the back fence to create a natural and beautiful flowering division between us and the neighbors. The Board decided to termite the Dome by natural means as they were eating into the wood foundation and the heavy oak door frames inside the Dome. After El Niño many ofBaba’s little critters, the mice, the insects, the roaches, etc., are having a field day at the Center and are being dealt with as compas sionately as possible. Baba’s Chair, which currently resides in the Dome, was brushed clean and a cotton

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Babac Chair inside the Dome.

muslin cover which had been over it was put told us, with fond remembrance, that he had spent aweekwith FredMarks in London about into place by the Archives Preservation Com years ago. Though he has not become a Baba 27 after mittee. It reallylooked so much lovelier we were amazed that he could remember lover 2 hours the cleaning. Baba sat in this chair for name. Baba, evidently, continues to sow Fred’s at the home of Hilda Fuchs on Crescent in the past, the present, and the hereseeds His party Heights Avenue in Hollywood for a tea after. in 1956. MarThe pond guerite Poley, beaüti really is one of our golduiilandthe members, atgrowing are fish tended that fatter every day. meeting with Regarding the about 20-30 we found leak, other people it was the that who had been of the roots intereste in Umbrella great meeting the tree which overAvatar. the hangs M eher s had that pond Pond,the goldMeher Pond. smashed the fish pond adja of concrete layer a placing cent to the Dome, delights everyone who walks rock. So we will be hole it great the cover to by. However it had a very bad leak and it took and decorative rocks necessi wiring, the mined created. El Niño about six months to find out where it was. After capping stray water pipes, having the tating replacement, we also needed a new Dept. ofWater and Power come out several timer, and a thorough cleaning. Fred told us the pond had been very well made, so it now times, repairing the pump, etc., the Board de looks like new. cided to have the pond drained, find the leak, and seal it. Well,wouldn’t you kno Baba had a plan. After calling about 15 different tele phone numbers in the L.A. area, someone re ferred me to International Water Designs which was about 25 miles from the Center. The pond man came out and when he found out that he was at the Meher Baba Center he ‘

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Above: Shirin Lorkalantari is stitching ip the covering which wi/i he permanently sealed after aromatic wood is placed onto the wood foundation.

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Fred Lesickei on the left, is shown with his assistant

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A child’s trust in its Mother is complete, because it leaves all its worries to her. She has to take care of it. So ifwe trust God and let Him worry for us, we live contented and happy. Source: 82 Family Letters, pages 79-80

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Mario Zavala is putting thefinishing touches on Meherc pond.

Want more practical and beautiful quotes like this? Order the 1999 Avatar Meher Baba Calendar today. It includes all the U.S. Holidays and

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he Center was spruced up for Bhau’s visit. Dana Lee and her children Josh and Janani put up curtains in the children’s room and in the meeting hail to cover the utilities section. The Archives Preservation Committee has been busy this summer working on a cabi net design for Baba’s sadra. Beforeyear end it willbe on displayin the Dome. I wouldlike to say that the Archives Committee is veiy active but unforwnatelywe dont have enough volunteers or money for the many interesting projects which await us. However, we do have Ray and Dana Lee and Charlie Morton as videographers who capture ourvarious speakers on video. Each and everyyear these are going into the

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archives stock.AlthoughtheVideo Rental Library isn’tftinctioningright no the Audio Rental Libraryis still active and Lynne Benyi1be happy to send you a tape (phone: 714-966-1078, before 9pm.) The Decorating Committee has been busy adding little touches to the Center in subtle ways which really add to the total experience ofbeing there. Soon theywillbe working on the design for the interior spaces to prepare for the construction next year. We’ll have much to share with you in thejanuaryissue about plans for design and reno vation ofthe Center. Solongfor now,

events—there’s no need to purchase a secular calendar, this one is for you.

8.oo Call Dma at 310-837-6419 (AFTER 7 PM PST M-F)

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Drenms, &fIections, and 14ippopotami A Visit to WODIN’s Studio by Kathryn Wiederhold

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Mani, Wodin, and Me the early days of January, 1997, seven little squares on my calendarwere clean ofscribbles. I booked them for Myrtle Beach. I would be visiting Meher Baba’s Center there. I was especially interested in meeting the person who illustrated God-Brother by Baba’s sister Mani S. Irani. It was Wodin’s drawings which had been chosen to compliment her poetic and playftil childhood stories with her brother the Avatar ofthe Age. I love books; I treasure God-Brother. Who was this Wodin who collaborated with Baba’s sister? I had previously met Mani standing in the driveway leading up to Guruprasad in 1969. There she embraced me into the heart of my Quest for a Real Home. I had just learned we are all drops ofone Ocean. I had the feeling I could sail the seas ofany storm knowing Mani was in the water with me. Two years ago, when Mani took her bother’s hand to be lifted from among us still gathered in this world, I regretted that she had not left us with more books. She had given us The Fainily Letters then God-Brotherwhich made me want even more. Her writing is such a wonderftii resource for the world as it carries a natural intimacy, honesty, and a buoyancy of believability reflecting a natural sweetness of life lived when a recognition ofspirit is present.

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The Wodin Workshop nally in Myrtle Beach, I scheduled my visit to Wodin’s Workshop. Entering, I noticed huge slanted drawing boards lining several walls. In the center of the work area were several tables full of richly colored cans ofpaint. They had the appeal offrosting. It was difficult to keep my fingers clean! Steve ( Wodin’s real-life name) resembled a tall ver sion ofPinocchio’s daddy. When I first saw his tail form, I thought, he is a friendly giraffe and I do not need to be shy or self-conscious. He smiled at me and then spoke in an easy, slow pace generic to Americas South. Knowing I had come to see his Baba artwork, he took time out to give me a private showing. Those long giraffe legs moved about bringing me views ofhis broach case, art prints, and a parade ofWodin artwork.

He explained to me how he gives birth to a piece of artwork. His visual memories from his life experience are pictured around the image ofMeher Baba’s form. A cluster of women and their gro ceries seen one week became the drawing ShoppingBags. First, they are sketched out small on paper with their characteristic wavy hor ders. Then they are transferred onto transparent acetate and projected onto a huge surface of very fine grit sand paper imported from an old family-owned German firm. He buys it in huge rolls. The creamy chalks and pas tels Steve presses into that sand are of the finest quality Each color makes me want to call it my favorite.

My Old Kentucky Home A Visionfor the New Humanity asked Steve where he got his accent and I learned he was born in Kentucky the oldest of7 children. His first contactwith Mani was as Trustwalla for the Kentucky area. In 1977, he arrived in India for his first pilgrimage there. Itwas then that he finally met Mani, the Trust Chairman he had been correspondingwith.When Steve firstgot to Ahmednagar, his rickshaw took him to Meherazad. No one

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was anywhere in sight. Everyone had gath ered inside the closed doors ofMandali Hall where Eruch was speaking. Eruch heard Steve’s rickshaw arrive and went out to grab his hand and drag him into the Hall. Once inside, Steve folded up his long legs and sat next to Baba’s chair. He noticed a tiny woman curled up on the other side of Baba’s chair. “Mani, is that you? I’m Steve from Kentucky.” Mani, finding her pen pal exclaimed, “Steve! I’m so glad you’re tall. I always picturedyou tall.”Then Mani jumped up, interrupted Eruch’s story and announced Steve from Kentucky’s arrival to the crowd. She spread her arms wide and welcomed him by singing Steven 1 Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” in a thick American Southern accent. This song always brings tears to the eyes ofall Kentuckians; especially those who hear it when away from their Kentucky home. It was ftin to think ofMani enjoying Steve’s height which I welcomed too. His brotherly

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arm on my shoulder enhanced our camarade ne and my sense ofbeing safe and protected. Years later in a card she drew for Wodin dated 26 April 1982 Mani relates, “Reading your letter was like watching a beautiful sun-

to visualize in various creative mediums a trusting world where Meher Baba is experienced in a close intimate manner—not as a theory way out in heaven-space somewhere or as a distant star shooting away from our lives. The simplic ityoflivingin truebrotherhoodwith our Beloved always present guiding and supporting us is Wodin’s vision to por 1t:H tray. This is a world where caring fami lies with unlocked doors, open minds and warm hearts love and enjoy their neighbors, are fair in their dealings, and /1 soar freelyin thinking and spirit.This is what the state ofa Kentucky childhood symbolizes. Steve described his childhood to me as life lived in this way. On ‘ / Mani’s card, the little bird on the win( —.Th dow sill is labeled as Steve pointing to I the Sunshine ofpromise, Mani’s GodBrother—Baba. Baba shines on all ev rise—Meher Baba’s Sun rising over Kentucky erywhere. The rich Kentucky blue grass raises and growingbrighter and brighter...” champions. No wonder they crywhen they hear Mani’s message of1982 describes her pertheir state song—it conveys the Real Search for ception ofthe purpose ofWodin’s artwork. It is the Only Real Home. —

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iffing comfortably, I viewed each giant piece which Steve brought before me. It was easy for my mind to enter each scene depicted.The background ofWodin’s art is often soft subtle colors giving a great sense ofspace and distance for the vividly colored characters in the foreground. Whethervivid or pastel shades, his colors are always clear and clean. He titles each piece. Up pops The White Dog with Meher Baba’s hand on the snowy-white German shepherd guard dog’s head. I want to be a policeman and claim him as my partner. I can almost reach right into that sandpaper and pet him just like Baba does. Steve slid out another piece and now I’m In The Apple Orchard.There just might be room for me, I thought, on the bench next to that big red apple lady sitting beside her pink-jacketed companion. My imagination ran with the little apple children playing crack the whip in the background. Next I’m shown the piece, BabyElephantBath. I felt Baba scrub my thick elephant hide and I couldn’t resist sloshing in those spiritual suds with my grey

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trunked friends. Steve pulled out another piece called Baba and Kitty. Purring sounds poured from me. Steve recounted a similar response which oc curred when he met Mani. “I was like a cat who could begin to purr. Mani’s gracious love made me relax, put worry on hold, and I began to enjoy my new home in ancient India with my Daddy God.”

teve told me that many people who don’t know about Meher Baba happen to see his Wodin art because his art studio is situated within his commercial sign shop. Not wanting to interrupt the flow ofbusiness with arguments about theology and Avatars, he has figured out how to respond to inquiries. He simply tells people that the man in thejacket or robe with the mustache is “Daddy God” amongst his creatures. The general public seems to digest this concept and the Wodin art so well that they actually purchase his Wodin art prints ofBaba for their homes while shopping for house signs. Steve has the idea to market Wodin to a still wider audience using his trademark name “DaddyGod.”Wodin’s work depicts a God who guards and inspires and understands. Daddy God provides spintuality as naturally as the air we breathe. Daddy God announces to a dry, barren Kali Yuga Age that it’s are numbered!

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A Subject in the Court ofthe King ofthe Nile

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you can see, Wodin artwork draws one into it. I dranklemonade with a child and a stuffed bunny in Lemonade Party. Even though South Carolina was in ajanuary cold spell, I was verywarm in the tropics ofheart in this workshop. Steve pulled out The Nile King in which the hippo king and queen bow down to the higher king—Baba. At first glance, I recognized an affinity with these lovely hippopotami. I jumped from my seat onto my feet. With palms pressed together, I bowed my round hippo body down with theirs over and over. There I was a middle-aged adult, yetl could not stop myselffrom honoring those beasts bowing in a sign maker’s shop. The muted background depicted in soft pastels assured me we had beenjourneying for days and days. It felt so good to finally bow and bowlowwith my king. My mind hinted per-

haps I could retain a sense ofdecorum in this business establishment; however, when I saw the king and queen bow, I felt I was a subject

in their court and was not inclined to ignore this oppormnity

Dreams Within Dreams Come True efreshed by my rotund darshan, I looked about the shop. I saw notebook-size sheets ofpaper stapled together. I lifted the bundle and inquired ofWodin, the Nile King’s artisan, “What is this leaflet?” “A collection of Mani’s dreams,” was his reply. “She has com piled anotherbookandl am nowillustrating it.” Mani’s dreams are told with a balance of complex ethereal Wodin images and Mani’s own words. This third book by Mani is an unexpected gift for all the world. To think I happened to come across a hint ofit tossed atop a workbench. Her magic, her wonderful sense ofdescription, her ever-willingness to delve deeper and deeper into remembrance were abundantly apparent even in this rough thumbnail form. The flecks ofWodin-esque confetti color dotted even these initial sketches. This bookbyMani is titled, Dreaming of the Belovedand is published by Sheriar Foun dation who is allowing us to see a detail (pic tured above) from My EternalMoment, one dream from the book. Steve Jameson is the only artist to illustrate books for the sister of God. She selected his Wodin style. I sensed

Steve’s inexpressible appreciation for Mani’s inspiring project, for her encouragement, and for her example. I wonder what marvelous interchange you will experience ifyou visitWodin’s studio as I did one chillyjanuary morning. The Wodin studio is 5 minutes from Meher Baba’s Cen ter located in The Sign Man building at 1811

Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Call him for an appointment 803272-3960. His e-mail is wodinart@aol.com and Wodin’s Web Site is wwvcwodinart.com should you want to peek into his workshop where talent is ever polished as a gift for Ava tar Meher Baba who has graciously loaned it to aboyfrom Kenmcky

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Avatar’s Abode, Australia

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The 40th Anniversary 3rd to the 8th ofJune 1998 by Dma Snow .;._ -

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on’t think, for even a moment, that you are going to read an objective report

here! I was born and raised in Australia, met Baba in Sydney in 1956, and my mother was one ofthe builders ofAvatar’s Abode—so the rave reviews are from a deep seated place in my heart! But ask any ofthe manyAmericans who flew over for it (with the airfares at $650 round trip it was hard to resist going!) and they will tell you how wonderftii it was. Baba was certainly guiding Francis Brabazon when in January of 1 95 8 he chose the site, 1 80 acres on top of Keil Mountain with magnificent views extending to the Pa— cific Ocean and the beach at Maroochydore just 13 miles away, as the crow flies. I have been to the Abode many times, it being a 5 minute walk from my mother’s home, but never to an Anniversary (It is called that, rather than Sahavas, because it truly is the Anniversary ofBaba’s visit injune of 1958.) Arriving in Qieensland the dayit started, I came upon the stage fully set and the fes tivities just getting underway. The day was overcast and rain was threatening. so much -

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ofthe happenings were meant for outdoors or under the BigTop we were all hoping for the famous Aussie sunshine. But Baba let us know he was giving us His blessing on the celebration in no uncer tam terms. We were all gathered around the flag pole

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just outside Baba’s House ready for the flag raisaing ceremony. The flag raiser is always chosen from amongst those who had been there when Baba came; this time it was Ethel Woodford, a 92 year old from Melbourne who had travelled up with her son Craig. At the very moment Ethel was raising the flag, the lightest sprinkle started! It lasted for no more than a few moments and was a beautiful reminder that He is always with us and in particular at this moment was bestowing His blessings on the gathering. For the 10th Anniversary Baba sent a telegram saying:

4lthough lam ever with My lovers individually, Jam always happy when they gather in My love, so celebrate this anniversary at My Abode with a bang and let My messagefihl every corner ofyour hearts. Love to you all.” To help with the celebrations a wonderflu guest list was comprised. Meheru Irani, one ofBaba’s close Mandali, headed the Inthan contingent, accompanied byjal and Dolly Dastoor, overseers ofMeherabad, Amrit Irani, Baba’s niece,Ted, architect ofthe Pilgrim Cen ter and his Aussie wife,JanetJudson; Kishore Mistry and the beautiful singer Veena Rangnekar. The American guests were BuL and Wendy Connor—so proficient at managing the Youth Sahavas held every year at Myrtle Beach; Elaine Cox, producer ofthe beautiful Song ofHuma tape, who herselfsang some beautiful ghazals and Country and Western songs; and Raine Eastman-Gannet (originally from Australia) aka Rani Didi who gave us some very fine Saregam lessons and examples

oflndian ghazals and bhajans. And then there were the Australians! Dozens ofthem, with lots oftalent and great heart, they all put on a magnificent show. Why, they even gave us a great performance of the Ramayana! The costuming, dancing and production of this great play were wonderfully done, they had been rehearsing for months. Ram was played by the very handsome 16 year old Ravi Welsh, and I did not recognise the oh-so sophisticated and haughty Kaikeyi as the 10 year old (!!) Elischa Isaacs-Young I had known since she was a baby. Her equally beautiful 12 year old sister Kendra, a willowy 5, 9”, very credibly played the loving Sita. Many of the teenagers were dancing there as the spirits ofthe woods, it was all so beautifully done. Some very assiduous editing cut the massive Ramayana down to a manageable one and a halfhour performance. Then there was the singing! There was no end to the variety and beauty of all the different singers that were there for us. My mother told me that when Baba was in Sydney for the first time in ‘56, and He asked for a song, no one could think ofanything to sing. a few voices came out with Away in a Manger—and it wasn’t even Christmas! Francis (Brabazon) was so mortified, he im mediately started writing songs for the Beloved, thus startingwhat is today, a major Baba industry! I have long listened to and loved the . .

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Arti was held in the beautiful Baba cheon tables chatting with a few ofthe men, when he slowly slumped forward. At first they room—the room He slept in while here—ev thought he was falling asleep, but then they ery morning and evening. Meheru, looking so realised he was unconscious! Luckily Roy very regal, gave us some wonderful talks each evening. Hayes was on the spot with homeopathic medicines he administered, and an ambulance here was always something on the prowas called which arrived within a very few gram, yet the feeling was never one of minutes. Prettygood service, considering this rushing from one event to the nexf. There is the country and on top ofa mountain! seemed to me Between Roy’s wife Ros and Janice to be an all Rice, both intensive care nurses, and 6 men, they managed to get pervading ;: i;j Jal into the ambu sense of tran _; quility—per lance. By the time he haps itwas the and Dolly drove off, I J” was waving to the natural beauty of this most j crowds whowere all, 4 beautiful of all voice, huge one as j Centers. the calling out “Avatar towering MeherBabakiJai!” %*\ Gums (Euca He was given a CAT scan and all lyptus trees), or the rolling showed to be normal. They thought it had green lawns, or the banks of flowers every probably been a CVA (stroke). He was prowhere you looked, or the brilliantly colored nounced ‘A—OK’ and released. native parrots that flew overhead in great When he and Dollywalked into the Big flocks, happily shrieking all the way, or the bril Top that night, the concert was brought to a liant blue skies with flufl5rwhite clouds ladly halt, a great roar went up from the crowd, and drifting by, or was it the wonderfully warm theywere given a standing ovation. With his usual humor quite intact,Jal told winter temperatures of around 70 75 de us “I thought I was going Home. My passport grees? Whatever it was, it really got to me. At times I would feel the tears come to my eyes, was in order, but my visa was reftised. I couldn’t get in through the gates as hundreds ofprayers just strolling around feeling the loving atmo sphere, seeing everybody so happily enjoying from His lovers had been sent to stop me!” Meheru added with a grin, “Baba threw themselves. Yes, you could definitely say that Baba was very present with us all there! him backbecause he was too much trouble to It was a very family-oriented Anniver glad very are we reason, the Whatever keep you strolled around you could see clus sary. As for— Jal keep us let to decided Beloved the of 3 generations seated on the grass ters longer! while great we hope—a chatting, with the babies happily rolling on the blankets laid out for them. The teenagers had their own Youth Sahavas so ably run by Buz and Wendy Connor and the littlest ones also had their own tent with wonderful things planned for them. Previously, I had only experienced Sahavases at Meherana (Northern Califor nia) and the Los Angeles ones held at Pilgim Pines. Both of these charge a fee, which is very natural seeing as it costs many thousands of dollars to produce a mega affair such as they do. It came as quite a shock that there was only a suggested donation of$50 for this magnificent Anniversary! And that this was the first year that the committee had even considered asking for a donation. My feeling

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At times we had TedJzidson, Elaine Cox and Buz Connor all cii stage togethei What a delight!

music of Kishore Mistry and Veena Rangnekar, (the Love Street Bookstore sells one oftheir tapes Huma,) so it was wonderftil to hear them live. But for me, the big treat and wonderftil suprise was Sam Saunders and The Wineshop Singers.Theywere incredible! First class performers! Not something you would expect to hear out in the country more like on the stage of a great theater. Sam’s arrangement and leading (along with singing and playing the guitar) ofa fortypiece choir singing the stirring People, also the beautiful Meherc Necklace, two ofFrancis’s ghazals, was nothing short ofbreathtaking. Then, with a smaller group, which performs locally as Muzika, Sam gave us some great listening and dancing music. I was so taken with it that I brought backtwo different CD’s for sale in the Bookstore. See Sam’s story in the Bookstore report.The music and rhythm was so infectious that a number oftimes half the tent was on its feet dancing. How pleased Baba would have been—and was, I’m sure! The afternoon of Sunday the 7th gave us excitement of a very different sort: Jal Dastoor had been sitting at one of the lun—

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x: was never have so many owed so much to so few! I believe there were about 300 in atten dance, from all round the world. I feel that asking for a registration fee is a vital necessity! The Sahavasees were having a wonderLilly relaxing time, but I could see that beneath the calm exterior there was a dedicated core ofhard workers who gave their all, striv ing 18 hours a day to give the greatest of enjoyment to the guests. About the only thing that was asked ofus was that we wash our own dishes! What a great idea—huge tubs ofhot soapy water were set up outside the main dining tent and as we finished eating we moved on to the tubs. A great sense ofcamaraderie de veloped over the dish washing! There was the large tent where the food was served with tables for over 200, and many more were set up outside. The weather was perfect for dining al-fresco. Just as I really settled into the rhythm of the place, Monday the 8th came and it was time to bring down the flag and de dare the Anniversary over. What an incred ible time it was! Those six days will live long in my meiriory—and, I am sure, in the memories ofthe hundreds ofguests, many from across th seas. It may have been their first Anni versary celebration, but I have a feeling it won’t be their last!

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Diana Snow, one of the builders ofAvatar Abode in 1958, andJohn Grant, author of’Practical Spiritual, share a cuppa.

Amrit Irani and Bill LePage.

‘i.L:; Bernard Bruford was on/p 15 when he went to Avatar Abode with his parents to take Sahavas with Baha, who then asked thefamily to stay on and, with the Rouses, take care ofthe Abode. Th open the anniversary, after theflag raising, Bernard told us some ofthe history and highlights ofprevious Anniversaries. This one was the biggest so far!

One ofthe hard working chef and servers was Liz Gaskin, the multi—talented lady who designed the Januaiy, 1 998 LampPost.

Wendy Haynes Connor spoke ofher life with her mother Jane, her brother Charles, and her times with Baha when she was a child.


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Tedjudson told us thefoscinotingplansfor the exponsion of Meherobod in the near and not so neorfitture.

Mehern with part ofthe Yonth Gronp, first started at Meher Spiritnal Centei; then Avatari Ahode and most recent/v at Meher Moont. The Teens say they love it!

The ‘Entertainment Center.”

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My heartfelt thanks go out to the dozens ofAussies who gave oftheir best untiringly so that we might all enjoy ourselves to the hilt. It tookalmost three days after all the guests —

Jim 0.: So what do you tell people to do once the Mandali are no longer around, in re spect to their connection with the Beloved? Bhau: Beloved Baba has given the instruc tions, and He has expressed His wish. But if you are a serious aspirant, then follow the conditions ofNewLife, which He has given, along with the plans ofthe Labor Phase. He has pre scribed Labor Phase for this age. [See Lord Meher, vol. 9/10, p. 3448, for the four phases of the New Life.] So, ifyou are serious, follow the conditions while doing anywork in the world: job, business, profession, or cultivation. And if you do so, you will be doing meditation in ac tion.

Dan Ladinsky

IVleheru brings the Anniversary to a close with the lighting ofthe Dhuni, assisted hyjal Dastoor and Ro Hayes.

(with the help ofHafiz pinching me)

had returned home to ‘strike the set’ as it were. on the morning ofmy departure I walked up to the Abode for one last visit to Baba’s Room and was struck by the different feeling on the grounds. I guess it is somewhat akin to visiting the Samadhi alone, a few days after Amatithi. It is still beautiftill, Baba is still there, buf somehow it must be the combined outpouring oflove from hundreds ofpeople that really gives the “Heart Quality.” t I wi//be back!

I have known Bhau for some 20 years, and having spent six ofthose years in India (accumulated time)—I have punched in my time card, as it were, around him many times. Bhau arrived in Myrtle Beach two days ago and I attended his first talk. I was not at all expecting anything new from his wine barrel—I thought I had tasted his bestjabs and uppercuts. I had always felt his wine needed a little more fermentation. I was so happy to discover I was wrong—major league wrong. Now I am voting for Bhau for President ofour galaxy and beyond.

‘Notes From The Internet” continztedfi-oni page 46.

July 10. Previously, He would give alternatives: Either one should observe silence or one should observe fast. But in the 1968 circular, there was no alternative. One has to observe silence because this was His last instruction. GaryN.:IfI mayplaydeTh advocate: Some hard-nosed ones say, “Why bother about what the Mandali say? Why observe silence? Why ceremonies?” Bhau: It is not from the Mandali, it is from the Beloved Himself You read the circular of 1968 which was sent to His lovers before July 10, and Baba specifically has asked His lovers to observe silence. So please don’t bring Mandali into picture. We are just about to die. So feel happy and do whatever you like. Mandali do notbother about it. Mandali only seekthe pleasure ofthe Beloved. Mandali have nothing to gain. We have been losing and losing, and still we have notlost everythingyet. And that’s why we are alive. But it appears that the Shop will be closed very soon!

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tions and volleyball, but my night watchman justgot me, sticking his head in mywindow as I type this. He usually asks whether it is OK to lock the gate, and I always tell him yes or no in Marathi, so I told him to go ahead withoutlook ing up. I guess it must be the first time I have ever broken my silence in Marathi. There’s al ways some kind of”first” here. The crowd here is pretty large this year, probably over 1000, and itjust keeps on growing everyyear. The crowd started gathering at the Samadhi by 6 am, and everyone said their silentArti in their ownway. By 10:00 a.m.,when I finallyjoined the queue, it took me an hour and a hali that’s even longer than Armatithi now.. ofcourse the Women Mandali came for darshan in between, which added a bit. There were so many flowers on Baba’s Tomb today that they had to be repeatedly taken out, also justhke onJanuary3lst. In fact, people are even starting to refer to Silence Day as a mini Amartithi. Dr. Goher Katie, Arnavaz, Rhoda Mistry Manu, and Meheru all came, and despite Goher’s fragile health, shelooked radiant today. The weather was lightly overcast and cool, just about perfect, and ofcourse Baba’s special Silence Day atmosphere was abundant. Fortu nately, this year, the mosquitoes are not. Some ofyou mightwonderwhatwe do on Silence Day here, and that depends, of course, on who you are. For the pilgrims, it is sort of a holiday, but for most ofthe residents, our work goes on, and in many cases increases dramati callybecause ofthe crowds. Probablyover 800 people are staying at Lower Meherabad tonight, and the logistics ofsleeping and feeding that many people is not a small matter. Gary Kleiner in particular, had a taxing time ofit today, trying to cope with a 32-player volleyball game without shouting at anyone! But he managed, we all managed, and in about an hour it will all be over. Most ofthe crowdwill stayforDhuni, then go home, and wait for their next trip. .

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Harold Jamison Wrote: For all Newellies,Jamie will appear in concert tonight in Berkeley. Regular place, the church corner ofMarin and Stannage.Teilyour non-cyber friends, bring someone other than a Baba lover.This is good music. Greg Dunn responded: Sometimes I think, ifoffered the choice between aJamie Newell concert and God Realization, I’d pick the concert! After all, God Realization will always be there!

From Our Man In Meherabad byJames Cox July 10th, Silence Day I was doing prettygood keeping silence here through all ofthe usual dailyworkrelated prob lems, telephones ringing, villagers asking ques

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July 20th, Wolves at Meherabad?! Yesterday afternoon, about 3pm as I was having a nap, myphone rings, and it is Erico on his cellular, teffing me that he is about a mile northwest ofBaba’s Samadhi on his mountain bike, and he is watching two wolves as they head toward my house at a quick clip. This is not the usual thing one expects to be woken up from a nap with, and it took me some moments todigestit. Continued oh page 6.

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The Living Witness Series byWendell Brustman

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uring a period of three years in the mid-1980’s, I went with a small crew consisting of Bill Haviland, my son Tom, Roman Babiak, and others to Switzerland, France, England, and India to videotape the then most significant living witnesses to the life ofthe Avatar, Meher Baba.The proposed formatwas simple: in each video, the subjects would be on screen and tell their story to you, the viewer. The purpose was to make available for generations to come an opportunity for the viewer to meet the infinite and inscrutable God through the personality and personal story ofthose close ones whom He had drawn to Himself, whose lives He had changed, and whom He had used in His immediate service while in human form as Meher Baba. Many were intimate mandali, in whom was filly in— stilled the spirit ofsurrender and obedience, and who have become for thousands, models ofthe ideal life ofdedication to God. These trips resulted in the buildup of sev eral hundred hours ofprofessionaU shot footage by Bill Haviland, who in 1987 began editing programs. Unforeseen events beginrnng that year eventuaflyled to a decade-long delay. It is now the time when programs in this Witness Series can finally be released. The Mandali Collection, a second grouping ofreleases, is initiated with our first in a series of three programs on Mehera, and a program ofMani telling delightftil early childhood stories ofbeing the sister ofGod. Mehera herself, in 1986 at the inception oftaping in India, made a decision which willlead to many new programs to follow. She instructed Mani to allow the work to run on past the 5-hour per person limit Mani had imposed, believing that this should become an official record of the mandali’s witness to their Beloved, and that the results would make a difference in the impact ofMeher Baba’s message of love and truth on a hungry and waiting world. If there is sufficient interest, we will release the second tape in the trilogy this coming spring, and the third a year from now. The first of these, Program II, will be intimate moments with Mehera at Meherazad including a visit with her at teatime. Only women and chil

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dren were permitted to attend Mehera’s tea until our male film crewwas given permission to record it for posterity Program III, to com plete the triogy will be stories ofMehera told mainlybyMani, and will include a ten minute gem ofa talk by Mani about Mehera’s purity in her relationship with Meher Baba.

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moment with Mehera as she comes alive on her porch, gives a tour ofBaba’s bedroom and leads a walk through the garden at Meherazad. Filmed in 1986, edited by Bill Haviland, 58 minutes, $54.95.

Mani All This AndHeaven Too

A Witness Series Vdeo Mehera J, 1rini

MEHER BABA, LORD AND FRIEND

Mani Remembers Her Early Childhood With Meher Baba

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ani S. Irani was Meher Baba’s sister, 24 years his junior, who had a unique access to her brother whom she already knew, as a young child, to be God. Her earliest memories include the story keying the video’s tide. It tells ofthe candy she thought she could enjoywhile sitting with Baba before a gath ering, and the drama Baba casually created which led her to conclude it would, in the future, have to be either candy or Baba, but not both at the same time. Edited by Bill Haviland, 61 minutes, $49.95. A Wtncss Series Vkiea Mani S. irani

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Mehera Meher Baba, Lord and Friend Program One

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ehera’s story of coming to Baba, told exclusively in her own words, makes ofthis firstWitness Series video a clas sic collector’s edition.The storyline ofthis video presents one facet of the life story of love’s pure witness to the divinelyhuman life ofGod on Earth, seen through the eyes ofhis chosen consort. Filled with interesting anecdotes, poi gnant memories and profoundly intimate mo ments, this full-color and finely crafted program takes you directly into the present

Mani Remembers I k:r baby Chddhood ?VtI- Moher Babe

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Thefollowing two videos introduce the Western Collection oftle Witness Series.

was to find the place ofGod. In that moment Mehera’s fate was sealed. In ahother memory, filled with the most delightful bursts ofthroaty laughter, she re counts a time when Baba, dressed as Krishna, was slipping through a tear in the cloth that had been designed by the women Mandali for His cradle during a celebration for Krishna at Meherabad. Her laughter during this story is totally infectious. She is incredibly beautiful but also very strong. I was struck with how strong she was. The combination of gentleness and purity in thought and unwavering strength is tnily a blessing to observe. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. There were other stories she told, and there was a very special moment with Mani in Mandali Hall, but I’ll leave those for you to discover and enjoy. Baba said, “Mehera loves me as I should be loved.” In this wonderful film we are al lowed to glimpse the qualityofthatlove. What a blessing! Produced by Meher Prasad, 42 minutes, $39.95.

Irene Bib

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he video work began with Irene Bib in 1984. A remarkab1e1ad her storywould have been lost without the video mission, because when Irene died without having finished her written biography, her sister, always opposed to Meher Baba, threw away Irene’s archives. She was from the small mountain village ofHeiden, Switzerland and met Meher Baba on His 1937 visit to Europe. Swept off her feet, Irene left soon thereafter by ship for India where she lived in the woman’s ashram for eight years. Articulate in English, Irene recounts her experience with both lighthearted humor and spiritual sophistication. Her manner is lively; her heart warm. Irene offers a valuable European perspective as well as bringing to life the obscure figure of her friend, Helen Dahm, the Swiss artist who cre ated the murals inside Meher Baba’s Samadhi on Meherabad Hill. Filmed on location in Switzerland, 1984. Edited by Bill Haviland, 57 minutes, Living With Goa’ $38.95.

A Videotape Review

Mehera, Meher Baba Beloved

Agnes Baron better known, the elusive and ‘J’hough wary Agnes Baron is still a rare subject for those of us wishing to sit with her now after her death.We recordedAgnes, the protector ofMeher Mount, in 1985.The Meher Baba retreat at Meher Mount in Ojai, on the central California coast, has a rich history, re counted here by its principal figure, Agnes Baron. Uniquely her own person, while also devoted to Baba, Agnes tells her life story, including the saga ofsaving the land for Baba, Baba’s sole visit in 1956, and the fire on New Life Day years later that mysteriously swept away the old monuments ofthis magnificent site onSuiphur Mountain. Filmed in 1985 both in Ojai and at a surprise birthday party for Agnes in Berkeley, this video is remarkably earthy, enlightening and entertaining. Edited by Bill Haviland, 58 minutes, The Belovedc Watchdog, $38.95. [Currently our tapes are in VHS (NTSCfor mat) only and therefore cannot normally be viewedon VCR inforeign countries (PALfor— mat). We areplanning to distribute videosfor use overseas as soon as possible.]

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very special gift has arrived for those ofus in the Baba community. It is an opportunity for those who knew her to visit with Mehera again. For those of us who know her only through books and the stories ofother Baba lovers, it’s an opportunity to feel as though we too have shared a moment oftime in her presence. Mehera, Meher Baba Beloved, opens its arms to us from the very beginning as one moves through the gates ofMeherazad and onto the porch and into the garden of Mehera’s love. Here, the music of Raphael Rudd is the backdrop. Later we’re treated to the songs of Jamie Newell and Heather Nadel—their love for Baba reflected beauti frilly in their voices. In the film Mehera shares with us her memories of Baba—how at the age of fif teen, while on her way to Upasni Maharaj, she spies Baba for the first time. She de the moment by saying that to see Him scribes

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n 1970 Ten Adams was inspired to draw a pastel portrait of Baba for Mehera. Mehera was very happy with it, placing it in Baba’s room at Meherazad, and encouraged Ten to keep drawing Baba. Throughout the years she has continued to do so. The most recent drawing of Baba, ( see above) completed at Meher Center in Myrtle Beach last spring, has been printed by Sheriar Press as a greeting card and can be purchased through the Love Street Bookstore and the Sheriar Bookstore in Myrtle Beach. A11 profits from the sale of the cards will be donated to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in India. $2.50.

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Bill Stephens with Eruch Jessawalla

Souls On Fire Reviewed by Lani Jones, Tennessee

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r this compelling book, Bill Stephens writes about some ofthe transcendent love affairs of the ages. His subjects are men and women ofvarious countries and faiths who lived in the period after Mohammed and before Meher Baba. (One ofthem, the incomparable Babajan, lived on for ten years after Baba began his mission. The incredible fact is that Babajan actuaflyftmnctioned as God in human form for more than a century!) Many ofthe great souls featured in Souls on Fire are among Meher Baba’s special fa vorites—inspired individuals for whom reli gion was at best a stepping stone, and at worst a hindrance, to the perfection of their pas sionate love affairwith God Himself (Or God Herself if you prefer. Meher Baba tells us that in this advent He is functioning both as the Divine Father and the Divine Mother.) These are individuals who fell madly in love with God and could not rest until they attamed union with the object oftheir fervor. In today’s world, who would dream that a woman living in a brothel—and reputed to be the world’s most beautiful woman—was ac tually a saint? As Meher Baba explained, the brothel was a cover for Rabia’s real work of saving souls. Baba also explained that the lovely Rabia came back to earth again for her final lifetime as Hazrat Babajan. (See Rabia ofBasra, page 13.) The great yogi Milarepa is Tibet’s most

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famous saint. YetJetsun Milarepa as a youth was a practitioner ofblack magic and a mur derer ofmany people! What better example can we find ofthe transforming effects ofGod’s infinite love? (See Milarepa, page 45.) Mirabai was a queen whose heart was aflame with love for Lord Krishna. After her husband the kingwas killed in battle, Mirabai’s in-laws tried repeatedly to kill her, but her faith in Krishna saved her. Mirabai gave up her position and her power to wander, penniless, radiant in her rags, singing of her love for Krishna and inspiring all Indiawith her beauty and her bhajans, which are still widely sung todayin India. (See Mirabai, page 85.) A young man in England, after experi encing God’s light within, was beaten, spat upon andjailed time after time for speaking out and telling people that God is within everyone’s heart and no one needs preachers or “steeplehouses” to find God. George Fox’s indomitable courage and impassioned leadership changed the British Empire andled to a mystical movement known as the Quakers. (See George Fox, page 125.) Other subjects include Meher Baba’s fa vorite poet Hafiz, as well as Rumi, Kabir, Francis ofAssisi,Teresa ofAvila, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Hazrat Babajan. The final chapter is about our own Divine Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba, who while remaining si lent for forty-four years inspired and gener

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ated a worldwide movement of millions of followers who accept that all religions are es sentially the same, but that religion itself is unimportant, while God is everything. Souls on Fire is Bill Stephens’ second Baba book, coming only one year after Footp rints in the Sanc4 which Don Stevens, au thor ofListen Humanity refers to as “a detailed personal history ofwhat I would call ChapterTwo ofBaba’s presence among man” and “a very important contribution.” Stephens came to Baba after a near-death experience in 1969 which changed him instantly from an agnostic to a seeker. Stephens has worked both as a lawyer and a marine naturalist and is the author of seven books about marine science, animals and underwater exploration. In addition, he and his wife Peggy have co authored six children’s books about marine animals. There have been many favorable pre publication reviews for this book, but I think this one says it best, coming as it does, from Coleman Barks—the man who made Rumi the most famous poet in America 800 years after his death: “These are the planet’s great love stories, the lives and legends of deeply surrendered souls: Francis, Rumi, Ramakrishna, Meher Baba, Teresa, Hafez, and others. The rèli gious traditions they grew from are less im portant than the depth of their loving.” —Coleman Barks, authoi’ The EssentialRumi Ocean ic Press, Nashville, TN—Paperback, 24 Index andBibliography, $12. 2 pp.,

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Beautiful Souls in Ugly Cages .

byPhyllis Ott, Myrtle Beach, SC

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his booklet was begun at the request of Beloved Baba’s brother Jal in a letter written to us, Lyn and Phyllis Ott, on March 17, 1981. In the letter,JaI asked that the video, both sight and sound, made in the Poona leprosorium in 1971 be printed out “...for the world to see and know that Beloved Baba has performed this only miracle after leaving His body.” It is the story ofMeher Baba revealing Himselftojal through 200 lepers as the One Selfwithin all. I was able to feel the literal meaning of Baba’s description ofHis Selfas the same one in every creature in creation.The way I pre pared the text for the book was playing an audio tape ofJal speaking as the Luck brothers were filming him with the lepers. I played it over and over again as I copied down whateverJal said. The photos now can be printed out from the video with a scanner, but we had no advanced equiptment. RalphJackson had to play the tape, and stop it on the TV monitor to shoot stills with another camera. The paste-up that I made with these snapshots and my typewritten pieces of cor responding text were essenially what was published. My title for the bookwas “Trans figuration” because that’s what I saw as the miracle. A wreck ofa human body, and each of the 200 people present in the story was deteriorated by disease, yet each was miracu lously transfigured to the form ofthe glorious Avatar, Meher Baba. I was walking through the Center wondering how to devise a way that I could afford to print the manuscript. I walked into an old friend, Grant Narelle. He opened the conver sation by saying that he felt he had paid much

too little for a painting ofmine that he had acquired a year before. And then I told him about thejal booklet and my problem of funding its printing.Well, coincidentally, he was publishing a shipping newspaper in Virginia Beach, and offered to do thatfor mybook. His wife,Judy,with a background in book design took on the expert work ofart editing. The large group that finalized the booklet is acknowledged on page 6. But I lost my choice for the title when the print-ready dummy was sent to Mani. She led the effort from then on and re titled it Beautiful Souls in Ugly Cages. Her message on page 38 was confirmation ofthe witness, BrotherJal, which completes his testament like a benediction. [This book, long out ofprint, has now been reprinted and is available through the Love Street Book— store, $6.]

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Beautiful Souls

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ComHed by Lyn and PhU.s Ott

Insidejobs: Stories for Adults and Other Kids Written and told byMax Reif Audio Book Reviewby Kendra Crossen Burroughs

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n his youth in rural Ohio, my father was a carnival barker, and he used to imitate the barker’s cry for our amusement: “Hurry, hurry, see Little Fatima, she walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a snake!” Something similar could be said about the multitalented Max Reif Hewrites, he paints, he sings and plays music, he acts, he clowns! Hurry, hurry and get his audiotape, Insidejobs: Stories forAdults and OtherKids, on which he gets to do almost all these things, telling and acting out his stories, playing the harmonica, and illustrating the coverwith his artwork. The tape is beautifully produced by Chris Riger, with original music composed by Jeff Williams, and cool sound effects. In these stories Max displays a brilliant knackfor the whimsical and the absurd.Ther&s the man whose red face is mistaken for a stoplight, halting traffic. There’s the wish-fulfilling genie who materializes out ofa can of soup. There’s Fred riding an escalatot which he knows is really a giant dragon about to gobble him up; but instead ofteffing his mother this, Fred comments dryly, “This escalator is like the electric shears that the barber uses to shave my neck.” There’s a cloud who walks into a cafe and asks, in a plaintive falsetto voice, for a small cup of sunshine. And then there’s the title character of”The Martyr”who declares: “Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, ‘I’m a martyr for the cause!’ But then it takes me some time to remember what the cause is!” There are also some gentle and spiritual fairy tales, with pretty princesses, scary forests, and magical transformations.All ofthe stories have a distinctive and special heart quality It comes in an attractive box with Max’s art work on the cover. $10.


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Wedding Bells at Meher Mount by Kendra Crossen Burroughs, Meher Mount With the exchange ofgarlands, rings, and summarized the secret of a successffil maraturday, June 6, was a misty, foggy day: they had written, Billy and Pamela vows the riage in one word: “Yield!” typicaijune weather on Sulphur Moun united in a long kiss that evoked were tam—and an auspicious atmosphere from the crowd.We afijoined in cheers for the wedding ofPamela Wolfe and (or tried to sing) “Begin the singing Billy Goodrum, to be held at Meher accompanied by Debra Ashe Beguine,” Mount that afternoon. They say the and Charlie Campagna. Michael and weather was just like this when Meconcluded with a loving ceremony The her Baba visited Meher Mount on Bhau Kaichuri. by sent greeting LI::#$ August2, 1956. to the house, the returned we As A large crowd offriends and fam sun’s radiance the as brightened sky ily was gathered outside the house, through the streamed where, a few days before, Billy and as they clouds—just Pamela had worked to spruce up the it did on the day say garden and grounds for Baba was here. the event. The beautiftil Then there was Pamela emerged on the music, and food, arm ofher father and beJeffremarked dancing. gan the procession out to the Brazilian about the Baba Tree with the band: “Those guys handsome “William clearly realized their Ashby Goodrum”—led good fortune: how by a kilted bagpiper, often does a musician George McGillvray. report for a casual gig Under the tree, and get exposed to everyone’s attention Meher Baba, Fred, turned to the minister, the and Kleiner all at the Right Reverend wait a minute, isn’t that same time?” JeffMaguire? Jeffproudly announced that The victuals were the State ofCalifornia had sworn him in as also excellent. “At first Deputy Commissioner ofCivil Marriages, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough for for one day only. He welcomed the guests everyone,” saidJeff. “But they kept bringing “to Scotland,” and then Baba’s Beloved God out more and more and still yet more. I also prayer was recited, led by the kids: Danny got a kick out offinding the food servers out Maguire, Josh and Janani Lee, Mia on the point admiring the view with us. They Campagna, andJohn Matthew and Michael felt right at home, as did everyone, which is a Griffin. testimony to the kind of people Billy and J effpointed out that we were convened Pamela are and to the love that Baba shOwers just a fewyards away from where Baba had down when such an occasion arises.” sat under the tree in August 1956, and un All told, it was a gorgeous wedding— doubtedly Baba was just as present with us with teary eyes and sniffles at the complete long exchanged Billy and Pamela After today for the wedding. He read out several ofthe two dads, Cloyd Smith toasts touching Himalayan a by inspired scarves, pertinent Baba quotes: “Love is no game for white silk Keller. AsJeffrecalled, andJohn , Goodrum,Jr. Clayton Josh blessings, custom conveying weaklings...;” “It is for love that the whole uni memorable: “the been had the weather even re Jeff Will.” “I sang Paul McCartney’s verse sprang into existence. ;“ and “Married clearing skies, the then chill, the and fog, mist witnessing just not were we marked that life brings an intensification ofmost human the sharply finally and point, the from view the and it, in participating but the ceremony problems” (Jeffread that line twice for ema rendered that sun late the of rays angled love of offer our signified that our presence phasis!).Then he told the story ofhowJeanne Jai Baba! in gold.” portrait wedding newlyweds. the and support to Shaw, on her fiftieth wedding anniversary,

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The House on Grove Street by Ed Flanagan

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When I received this subrn ission from EdI was doubtful we could run something so long. Howeveraslwasgetting into the story, a scenefrom the movie “Titanic came to in md: the one where thefilm crew is gathered around Rose, hanging on her every word, as they realize she was actually there! It was history re— lived, brought to life before their eyes. Andso it is with this story...]

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twas 1979. I was living in Greenwich Vii— lage, and almost daily on mybicycie I’d pass by the double town house just a few blocks away at #88-90 Grove Street. I had come to Meher Baba just two years before and was well aware of the fascinating history of that old house in relation to Baba. In November, 1931, Baba’s firstvisit to America, Baba had been invited by the owner, Graham PhelpsStakes, to stay there following His visit to Harmon-on-Hudson, an hour’s drive north of Manhattan. He returned six months later on his well-publicized second American tour and gave His first major public darshan on Amencan soil, and a newsreel crew filmed Him walking in the gardens. On Baba’s third American visit in 1934, He gave darshan there to His new lovers, Darwin Shaw among them. Graham suffered ten strokes and died in 1960. His widow, Lettice Stokes, lived there alone except for daily visits from her maid, and from Graham’s secretary, who even thirty years after his death would come several times a week to “take care of business” and look after Mrs. Stokes. Over the years, Baba lovers would pester her at all hours to see the house where Meher Baba had stayed, but I never dared to ring the bell. I was content to simplypass by, imag ining Him smiling in the upper window and waving at me. Very late at night, I would sit quietly on the front stoop, remembering how He had passed up and down these very steps. He would feel very close and present. During the day, those steps were a favorite hangout for winos, who would drift across the narrow street from tiny Sheridan Square Park, or from the equally close Stonewall Inn.

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This nearby bar became world-famous in 1969 as the scene ofa three-day riot between the NYC-police and the gay and transvestite community. The “Stonewall Riots” were the proverbial “shot heard round the world” de mandrng equal nghts for sexual minorities.The event led to changes on a global scale. In this regard, on Christmas Day, 1981, in Mandali Hall, Eruch repeated a story Baba had told about a perfect master who was a gay trans vestite. Baba had told this story to the mandali thirtyyears earlier in 1951, in Lucknow, where He was just beginning His manonash work among a community ofoutcast hijiras (trans vestites). During that time, Baba Himselfbecame the object ofhomophobic hatred and abuse. He said that He was doing universal work which would one day result in raising the consciousness ofthe homosexual commu nity throughout the world. One hotJuly afternoon, a friend asked me to walkwith him to a store on the other side of the Village. As we approached the house, I noticed a wino sitting on a curb at the edge of the park. He was wild and robust-looking, re minding me ofone ofBaba’s masts, but his intoxication was probably due to the pint of Wild Turkey on the curb beside him. Without thinking, I shouted at him, “BABA!”The next moment, I saw a very elderly lady fern-

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bling at the lock on the front door ofthe house, and I blurted out, “Oh my God, there she is.” I thought, “No, I could never, I’m in my shorts, I’m unpresentable, by the time I get there she’ll be in the house.” I stood there frozen. Suddenly I made a dash for it and caught her just in time to help her with the keys. Her eyesight was not good and she mistook me for a neighbor she hadn’t seen for a while, and invited me for tea the next afternoon.I couldn’tbeieve myears.What a stroke ofluck; under mybreath, I thanked Baba. The next day I appeared for tea, and we sat out in the back garden, where she sud denly realized I was a complete stranger and that yesterday she had mistaken me for someone else. She had a wonderftil sense of humor and we both had a good laugh over it. I gave her a copy of Naosherwan Anzar’s The Belovec4 and she was happy to see photos of so many old friends, and ofcourse, “the Baba,” as she referred to Him. Thus began a wonderftil relationship with Lettice Stokes and her house and yard, where I began regularly visiting and doing gardening.We became good friends. As I brought her up to date on some ofthe events of the last forty years, she seemed very surprised that He had returned to New York several times during the fifties, and that she hadn’t heard about it, He had not contacted Graham, or stopped by. She seemed a bit hurt. Shewas shocked to hear ofthe accidentin OkIa homa in 1952 and news ofHis dropping the body in 1969 really stunned her. As we sat in the lovely enclosed garden behind the house, she reminisced about those days in the early


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thirties, her life with Graham before and after Baba, and the monthly suppers. raham Stokes had been part ofa group of friends and spiritual seekers which included Elizabeth Patterson and Norma Matchabelli. Others who would soonjoin includedjean Adriel, Malcolm Schloss, Nadine Tolstoy, Anita DeCaro Veillard, Josephine Ross, and many others contacted by Baba. At the invitation ofElizabeth and Norma, Graham went up to Harmon on November 9, 1931, where he first met Baba. He returned that evening totally enthralled and insisted that Lettice go back up with him so that she too could meet Baba. I sensed that she had some resistance to the idea, since Graham was the seeker, not her; but she went anyway. Yes, He was very charming and all smiles, though silent, and He had the most deeply penetrat ing and extraordinarilybeautiful eyes, but she really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. “I certainly didn’t swoon like Norma. She practically fell down the stairs. She went head over heels, completely overboard, coming out from meeting Him. She was so overcome. Elizabeth too, but more calm, more collected. I’m a more matter-of-fact person, as you prob ably guessed. Though I can’t say that I went in for faintingwhen I met Him, I liked Baba. I liked Him and that meant a great deal. He radiated energy— not physical, but emo tional. Only a clod could approach Him with-

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The viewfrorn Babac bedroom.

for a few days, until out some feeling. I everybody got on a could easily see what train for California. a tremendous influ ButEd,I tellyou,” ence He had on she and here people more versed ed laughing start in spiritual things. I again as she re was never a student called those days, ofsuch things, except “the real whirlwind I picked up a few several months was crumbs. You couldn’t when the Baba later live with a person like came back to New Graham for 34 years York.” in that atmosphere, On His second, reading scriptures in ublicized, visit well-p Sanskrit, versed in America, Eliza to the teaching ofmany beth chauffeured spiritual masters, from the docks in Street Grove to him directly and not have some ofit rub offon you. But I followed in party the of rest Brooklyn. The was never bowled over by any ofthis. Never. e. Baba’s luggag the and taxis with Graham But yes. I did like Baba very much.” with staying , and before as ed room was prepar A few days later, she recalled, Graham r brothe er young His were Him in the house returned from Harmon quite upset, saying that and ith Mered and Todd, n Adi Jr., Quenti the house up there was no place for a person Margaret Starr. Baba’s brother Beheram, wanted he that and status, ofBaba’s spiritual Chanji, Ghani, and Kaka stayed at the Hotel to bring the whole party down to this house. The Harmon property belonged to Virginia Albert. “And Ed, I don’t mind tel]ingyou our quiet Mayo, a famous Broadway playwright, who little household was totally disrupted. It was lent it out for Baba’s use. Central Station around here with Mrs. Stokes said there were rumors that like Grand the crowds, for weeks it seemed, but maybe it the house had been a speakeasy during the than that. I thought I might have Prohibition era, and perhaps had served other was shorter to go to a hotel myself I couldn’t even get into unsavory purposes, and Graham thought it my own bedroom.There’d be people stretched unsuitable for Baba. She did not recall, nor out across my bed, exhausted, especially did I know at that time, that Norma and Elizabeth, who acted as hostesses. there had been a fire therejust a And word went out, and the word spread, few days after Baba arrived, and it was like dropping a pebble in a pond. burning one ofthe guest houses On and on it went. There was no end to it. to the ground. (This made sev The reporters started coming and the dooreral people very happy because bell was ringing and the phone was ringing, they got to move into the main wasn’t going on. You house, with Baba.)The fire may and God knows what couldn’t see the beds for all the coats, with have been one reason why Gra people coming and going at all hours of the ham offered the Manhattan day and night. house to Baba. The next day, a Ijust had to get out.The place was swarmfrom down caravan ofcars drove ing. I’d do my little chores and then I’d get Harmon and the whole contin right out, leaving the place to them. Ofcourse, gent descended on Grove Street. Graham was uptown at the office, taking care Mrs. Stokes recalled that one ofbusiness. But somebodywould be stationed ofthe people with Baba was the at the phone, which rang interminably somemischievous and lovable Agha Ali ofPrem Ashram days. She The Movietone Newsfooeage ofMeher said, “He and the Baba stayed the Baba in the garden at Grove Street in in one room at the top of and May 1932 is available on video from house, and Chanji, Rustom other Love Street Bookstore as ‘Meher Babai Meredith Starr in the here 1932 Message toAmerica, $15. room. It was pretty hectic “

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one else would be stationed at the door, because Baba was seeing people most of the day. And every time I left the house, there were people walking up and down, wanting to know, ‘Is Baba in there?’ You just wouldn’t believe what was going on here, everything is so quiet now. But in the evening things would quiet down, and Gra ham and I and whoever else was here would go up to His room at the top, and we’d sit on the floor and talk. And Babawould listen and smile and laugh. It was delightftii—very informal.Then we’d all say good night and go to bed, and it would start all over again the next day. I’m glad I was young. I don’t thinkl could handle it today. Then finally, Norma and Elizabeth wanted to know ifwe could have a formal reception. And we said certainly, ifthey would send the invitations. They said, sure, that’s the easiest part ofit. Engraved invitations were sent out, and that Sunday afternoon over 400 people showed up at my front door from about four to seven P.M.They kept coming and coming and coming, in through the front door and up the stairs at #88, into the library and up a few steps to meet him in the little meditation room. Then they’d come back down the stairs at #90, so it was a circular thing, you see, so nobody stiimbled over anybody. People were given a specific time, like one group would be at four and the next group at four-thirty, and so on through the afternoon and evening. The lines went up and down the blockwith people waiting to get in to see Him. The police had to redirect traffic in front ofthe house. “That same day, the newsreel people came and filmed Him here in the garden, with all Baba’s Chair and Portrait

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he chair used by Meher Baba for darshan at the Grove Street house was sent to the center at Myrtle Beach for Baba’s firstvisit there, and remains in the Barn to this day. Also sent was a life-size portrait ofBaba by J ulian Lamar, which Baba sat for. (Lamar met Baba at Harmon on November 7, 1931.) Eliza beth Patterson owned the painting until she and her husband Kenneth had a bitter split over Baba. According to Mrs. Stokes, Kenneth was a Christian Scientist and thought “all this Baba business” was “a bunch of hooey.” When the Pattersons broke up, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes re ceived this portrait and the garden fountain which was still there during myvisits. Graham Stokes hung the portrait in the “little room,” and it

now hangs in Baba’s living room in Myrtle Beach.

my neighbors in the apartments above us pok ing their heads out ofwindows and balconies, trying to see what on earth was going on. I tell you it was really something. Even for days after, it seemed hundreds of people would walk past the house, gazing with awe and trying to peer in. And dozens claimed that it changed their entire lives. And I can believe this, Ed, because for several years after— and this is the truth—our doorbell would ring at some extraordinary hour and there would be an utter stranger and—” Here she began laughing so that she could barely catch her breath. “I can’t tell you how funny life has been in manyways. Little did I think when I got married what I was getting into. And theywould come in, and they just wanted to come again to the house, and tell howtheirwhole life had changed. And I would sit there and listen to more changes in life than would fill ten books. And this went on for a long time.” She poured me another cup of tea and continued her narrative. “I had an old colored mammy-cookthen, Anna, and shejust nearly melted away at the Baba—Bubba, she called Him. And ‘Bubba this’ and ‘Bubba that,’ oh the Bubba could do no wrong. And it didn’t matter how much work there was to do or how many things He wanted at an extraordinary hour. It was never too much. She was com pletely bowled over.” And here she started laughing again. “Now my memory is a bit dim, but it seems we had to get in extra help, perhaps a relative or a friend ofAnna’s, and theywould prepare His meals, you kno and sometimes He would come down to the basement kitchen area where they worked, and sit with them. And they’d make Him a cup oftea and they’d chat. He was really very sweet to them and they remembered that, and would talk about it for years after.”

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nvariably, whether it was one of our outings, or a gardening day, or a simple visit, she would eventually say, “Well, Ed, would you like to go up and spend some time in the little room?”This was how she referred to the room a few steps up from the large sky-lit sa lon-library on the second floor ofthe house. When Baba left, Graham reserved this spot, where Baba had given darshan, as a meditation room, where he would go each morning unfailingly before leaving for the office, and again before retiring. He had a rope

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Bedroom at top ofthe house used by Bahac party.

with tassels put across Baba’s chair so no one would sit on it. When I first entered the little room, it was pitch dark, as Graham had blocked out the window. A tiny amber light bulb gave the feel of dim candlelight. It was a spot intimately associated with Him and I could feel the thin wooden runners still nailed to the floor in the left corner, where Baba had placed the green morris chair atjust the right angle for greeting visitors as they entered the room. Even fifty years later, this gave me a sense of exactly where He was in the room. I could feel Him smiling at me. A photo reproduction which Graham had made ofBaba’s portrait hung in the room, and under it was framed one of Baba’s quotes: WITHIN ME AND WITH1N ALL—THE SAME SU PREME SELF, SHRI SADGURU MEHER BABA.

There were also images ofJesus, St. Francis, and someone who resembled Zoroaster, together with a picture ofVivekananda, whose ashram in India Lettice and Graham had vis ited on their honeymoon in 1926. A large mahogany sideboard with heavy drawers was at the rear wall, and a small table and a couple ofchairs completed the furnishings. Any time I entered that room and closed the door, withjust a few moments offocusing I would feel Baba’s presence very strongly. I’d think, “if only the world knew about this place...” while knowing fully that someday it would. It was similar to the feeling people describe after visiting the Samadhi.

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ut now for His birthday party after He went back to India,” Lettice continued, “We were all vegetarian, no meat or anything like that. So we had some delicious baked beans which Anna concocted and put all kinds ofthings on, and we had fruit salad and rolls and cocoa, tea, or coffee, and then ice cream


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un engraved invitation to the 1932 darshan had been sitting in a drawer/br 47 years!

and cake for dessert. I would pull out the table in the dining roomwhichwould seat ten nicely, and set up three or four small tables in the front room, and then I would get in extra help to serve and wash the dishes and all that prac tical business. Then we would sit there after the dishes were cleared, and Graham would stand in the doorway and give a little talk. And then, one by one, or two by two if they were a couple, people would all go up and have a few mo ments in the little room. Then they’d come back downstairs where Anna was whipping up a punch, you see, with ice cream and cake. That made a lovelylittle evening. That first one was an enormous success, so we said, oh—let’s do this again. We would have a simple supper. And after the first time, people started bringing homemade cookies and baked goods, and we had this almost up until Graham’s death, except for a couple of years when he was very sick. Now, Graham’s birthday was March 18, but that was not a Saturday and these were working people. So the second year we moved to the last Satur dayofthe month. And thatwayGraham could spend the day quietly and prepare for his talk. And that was a great success, since they knew it was also for Graham’s birthday, that made it extra special. Now everybody enjoyed this so much we got our heads together and said, why not do

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given to me about a year later, together with a delicate old colored woodblock print ofMary with the infantJesus.) Lettice continued the tour at the top of the house, saving the “little room” for last. It was an extraordinarily moving experience for me,just seeing the toilet, the sink and faucets, the light switch in His bathroom, and His bedroom, which Graham had later converted to a home office, things that He used and touched. As we went back down to the sec ond floor I saw Graham’s priceless collection of ancient Tibetan tankas depicting various deities and Boddhisattvas, large museumquality treasures. There were also exquisite turn-of-the-century religious paintings, reli gious statuary and other antiquities.

this every month. So those little meetings came to be known as the “Last Saturday Group.” Twenty-eight 0’ people came to first that birthday supp er, and the 5 a m e group and the 5 a m e number would come for years afterwards. We would invite close friends like Norma and Elizabeth and the new people we had met, and itwas such a lovely thing. Do you know, Ed, we had them for over 25 years, except forJuly and August, with people away. Always the same ones coming, though a lot of them have died now... Theywerejust dear, all ofthem, from everywalk oflife, all religions, J ews, gentiles, heathens—you name it, they came. Of course I sent their names and ev erything I had relating to Baba personally to Elizabeth down at Myrtle Beach. Have you met her? Such a marvellous, wonderftil woman. You really must meet her.” She sighed and looked up at me. “It was really something.”

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hose were the days before personal camcorders, yet how often have I kicked myseiffor not having the foresight to docu ment this extraordinaryplace for posterity My only consolation is perhaps these recollections may help give a feeling for the place and those special times. Graham’s library and personal papers were willed to the Columbia Univer sity Library only authors or those with a need to know have access to them. For the record, this is what Mrs. Stokes told me about the history ofthe house; though it may not pertam directly to Meher Baba, it will get lost if not set down here. The two houses, #88 and #90 Grove Street, were built identical to each other in retired seafaring brothers, Henry 1927 for hen she said I should probably like to and Jesse Halsy. The home of their parents see the rest ofthe house and proceeded and grandparents, in Southampton, Long Isto take me on a tour. My first impression was land, has been turned into a museum, and in that I was walking through a movie set from 1980, Mrs. Stokes sent it some letters and the early thirties. Everything down to the last other historical records of the Grove Street detailwas strictly from that period, with noth house. ing to even suggest anything from the forties. She explained that the only architectural It was if time had stood still after Baba was clue to the original twin buildings was their here. remaining stairways and railings. “Graham On the walls in the hallway were photos the first house and lived here with his bought Washington George from documents and firstwife in 1915. I didrft come descendant) direct was a ( she here until we were married in were library in the and up 1926. He bought the adjoina and chairs velvet plush large ing house from his sister was Everything large sofa. in 1931. It didn’t have Helen lovingly and faded lightly or electricity. We broke heat floor and The table lived-in. partitions and the down antiques. valuable lamps were furnishings. new all bought le torchiere-sty (A twenties-era (or Bloom) Blum Robert fluted amber lamp with an lived here who artist an was used was glass bowl, which time I was the around 1893, in was there, while Baba was Ed F/aizagaii.

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I born. He added this double-decked building on the left side ofthe garden, and rented to artists for studio space. Helen rented the upper one from an artist who lived here later. That’s how she knew about the house, and when it was available she snatched it up, and connected the double studio house to the main house, and built these charming clois ters. There was a livery stable next door. There was a very handsome wrought-iron fence dividing the gardens, and after we bought the house from Helen, we took down the fence to join the gardens. Then Graham got wind that the neighborhood association needed a piece of wrought-iron fence for Sheridan-Square Park across the way. They were trying to make a division between the front and back parts ofthe park, which had a lot ofbeautiftil old trees. Now ifyou’ll look, you’ll see that the points on the fence divid ing the park do not match. That’s the fence that was here in our garden around the time that Baba first came in 1931.”

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hings that were here when He was here. I was obsessed with that, and kept pressing for information. For example, I wanted to know about the arrangement offtirniture in Baba’s bedroom during Baba’s stays. Lettice explained, “The lease on his uptown office was running out, and with his health the way it was, one day he asked me what about making Baba’s bedroom into a small office. And I said, that’s the best idea you’ve had since you asked me to marryyou!” As we stood in the room, she said, “There wasjust a small closet, not this big one. Two twin beds with a night-table between them. This chest of drawers was here, a big bureau which is now in the guest room belo and there were chairs and a table, things you’d need in a bedroom.” I pressed her more. “You kno you should really make a historical record, because one day when we’re all gone, that record will be very important.” “Well, that ftirniture is all family ftirni ture, and it’s all allotted to Graham’s family members—the younger generation, of course—all the old ones are gone. I had eight brothers and sisters-in-law—enormous fam ily. And I’m the only one left!” “So the whole record ofthe things, when you go—” “But there’s nobody that cares, Ed.” “There isn’t anybody at this moment that

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Lettice Stokes in her garden.

you are aware of who cares, but the things Baba used—if it turns out that Baba is the Christ ofthis age, and there’s growing certi tude ofthat—everything that He came in contact with is most sacred.” “But all these things have been allotted to members ofthe family.When I die, it’s all on record, they go.” “Yes, I understand, but whatever these things are, ifyou have a record saying ‘this piece offhrniture was in Baba’s room’ or ‘this was used by Meher Baba’ —that’s very pre cious.” “But who would want that?” “You’re going to be amazed.” “But who would I give it to? What would I do with it?” “You could leave that record with me. I’d see that it got into the proper hands.” “But it’s just a piece of fhrniture. Who would see it? I can’t have people come knocking on the door to see the bed that Meher Baba slept in.” I chuckled at this irony. With all the sto ries about the countless beds that George Washington slept in, here was Lettice Stokes, Washington’s direct descendant, protesting a record ofthe bed that Meher Baba slept in. “Whoever gets that bed eventually...” “But they don’t know a thing about Baba!”

The garden where Baha walked.

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“Theywill, and their children will.” “But what’s the point ofit all?” “It’s like whenjesus went to Capharnum and stayed in someone’s house. That house and the bed He slept in would one day, after His manifestation, be treasured. What you don’t understand yet is the historical signifi cance ofMeher Baba.” There was a long pause.Then she looked up at me and sighed. “Well... I don’t know, Ed. I can’t promise I will do this.” I’m heartbroken that those simple scraps ofwood went to family members without their ever knowing what they had. She continued talking a bit more about how the nuns at St. Vincent’s Hospitaijust up the street had been so kind and caring for Graham’s mother after she was struck by a car. “So he decided that when both ofus are gone, the house would be willed to the nuns as a rest and retreat home. You see, they worked so hard and such long hours at the hospital, and they really had no place they could flop down when they really needed to. So Gra ham put it in the will. This house will go to them.”

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1981, I left NewYork and went to India, circling the globe and visiting cities and places Baba had visited. I settled in Boston and began a whole new life. Until Lettice died, I would stop by to see her whenever I was in New York. She always welcomed me as a dear old friend with sparkle and great warmth. Her last days were such a contrast; when I saw her for the last time, she could barely recognize me. She had been born a year and a day before Baba, and left us in the summer of1989 at the age of96. She was buried beside Graham in a cemeteryin Mount Kisco, north ofthe city By that time, St. Vincent’s Hospital had very few nuns and the old house was an alba tross around the hospital’s neckfor manyyears. It became an abandoned derelict. With much sadness I would pass by and stare in disbe lief. Frozen and broken water pipes took a terrible toll. Everythingwas cracked, paint was peeling, ceilings were coming down. I realized why Joyce Kilmer’s poem had meant so much to me as a child, and I consoled myself with the thought that Baba doesn’t give importance to these things the waywe do. But it seemed heartless, and I’d sit on those steps and cry.

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en I was a child, my favorite poem was The House with Nobody In It, byJoyce Kilmer. This is the best I can re member it: Whenei’erl 1n7/itoSflernLthngt6eErIetrack, ra/&w anti Ipass aJ’oor oi’i6;itse ‘isbj/s 6 Inines ways sseI;tahwidm rtflaf 1 IsujPoseI’9t7 h stopjorambntte To/ookattheEotLctthetragIcEo1Lce t&iousewItE

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tersja/Ibzgqpa,z ForIcanEetEhi1fqqtba’poorofdEouseicaEouse wItEaJ.v1en&an Finally, we heard that the lawyers for St. Vincent’s were willing to negotiate the sale of the house to the NewYorkBaba community There were find drives, but they fell short of raising what was needed. I made contact with Pete Townsend, who was coming to NewYork, and arranged to take him through the house and explain all these historical details, with the prospect ofhis buying it. At thelast minute, he cancelled the trip, and our hopes were dashed.

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day around 1995 I was walking by, expecting the by-now-familiar grim sight of this derelict, when I spied painters and plasterers at work inside. My heart skipped a beat. They told me the new owner was an artist and was having the place re stored. Later that day I went by again,just in time to see a man and woman with two young children dash out ofthe house and into a waiting cab. I said, “Excuse me, are you the new

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owners?” and explained that I used to be the gardener here, and that this was a very special house, and that I had infor mation that they would want to know. “Oh yes,” the gentleman said, “This is a bad time, but we would definitelylike to talk to you. Can you come back tomorrow?” The next evening I met Peter Nadin and his wife Anne Kennedy and their two little girls. My biggest surprise was meeting Tom Stokes, Lettice’s nephew, whom I had met once in this very living room over 15 years earlier. This was the first time he had been back to the house since the daywe met. He told them that his aunt had been very fond of me, and had mentioned me often. So began my new relationship with the old house and the lucky people Bahac bedroom and private interview room below. who now live there. They seemed very grateful after Baba’s first visit, 75 ofBaba’s lovers, tofor all my information. Peter said, “We knew with Bhau Kaichuri, His beloved dis gether we but here, special very we had something watchman, and biographer, were night ciple, the toured We what.” didn’t know exactly and Anne to come and have Peter by invited kne I what explained I as house and garden tea, much like in the old and supper simple a of photos large some and later I sent them beautiful garden was the again, Once days. taped ofthe a copy Baba and some books, and of loving remem place into a transformed 20 Stokes Lettice interview I had done with sahavas. and brance years earlier. Theywere determined to keep everything that was original, and to restore what needed restoring, and they did. Later when I happened to pass the house it was good to see ‘Notes From The Internet” Continuedfrom page 13. lights on and children running around, and No matter how offkultcr this group can get occasionally we’d wave in greeting. thinkwell, Eric’s quote will somehow always I years Most recently, onjune 9, 1998, 66 move us back to center and what is most im portant in our lives, as we twist and turn to maya’s tune like a hypnotized snake in our CIIAI REcEPTIoN FOR respective baskets dancing to the newest flute BHAu KALCHURI that attracts our attention! I think ofyou Eric as someone who is like a steadfast silent rud 88 Grove Street der (perhaps I could think ofBaba that way)... Greenwich Village, NY who seems to know what to say to comfort or direct as an agent ofsome unseen hand in our June9, 1998 midst—You KnowWho—at other times a hot knife running through the butter or maybe 7; 30 PAil Group . Guest # 71 evenjust the hot knife as the occasion warrants.

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Children Speak to God Dear GOD, In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation? Jane Dear GOD, Are you really invisible or is that just a trick? Lucy Dear GOD, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house? Anita Dear GOD, Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? Norma Dear GOD, Instead ofletting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You just keep the ones You have now? Jane

say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway. Your friend (But I am not going to tell you who I am) Dear GOD, Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day ofrest. Tom. Dear GOD, Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look it up. Bruce Dear GOD, IfYou give me a genie lamp like Aladdin, I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set. Raphael Dear GOD, My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha ha. Danny Dear GOD, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much ifthey had their own rooms. It works with my brother. Larry

Dear GOD, Who draws the lines around the countries? Nan

Dear GOD, I want to bejustlike my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over. Sam

Dear GOD, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? Neil

Dean GOD, I think the stapler is one ofyour greatest inventions. Ruth.

Dear GOD, What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything. Jane

Dear GOD, I bet it is very hard for You to love all ofeverybodyin the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nan

Dear GOD, Did you really mean “do unto others as they do unto you”? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix mybrother! Dana

Dean GOD, IfYou watch me in church Sunday, I’ll showYou my new shoes. Mickey.

Dear GOD, Thankyou for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy. Joyce

Dean GOD, I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. Love, Chris

Dean GOD, It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to

Dear GOD, We readThomas Edison made light. But in school they said You did it. So I bet he stole your idea. Sincerely, Donna

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he Chief Rabbi oflsrael and the Pope are in a meeting in Rome. The Rabbi notices an unusually fancy phone on a side table in the Pope’s private chambers. “What is that phone for?” He asks the pontiff “It’s my direct line to the Lord!” The Rabbi is skeptical, and the Pope notices. The Holy Father insists that the Rabbi try it out, and, indeed, he is connected to the Lord. The Rabbi holds a lengthy discussion with Him. After hanging up the Rabbi says. “Thankyou very much. This is great! But lis ten, I want to pay for my phone charges.” The Pope, of course refuses, but the Rabbi is steadfast and finally, the pontiffgives in. He checks the counter on the phone and says: “All right! The charges were 100,000 Lira.” The Chief Rabbi gladly hands over a packet ofbills. A few months later, the Pope is injerusalem on an official visit. In the Chief Rabbi’s chambers he sees a phone identical to his and learns it also is a direct line to the Lord. The Pope remembers he has an urgent matter that requires divine consultation and asks ifhe can use the Rabbi’s phone. The Rabbi gladly agrees, hands him the phone, and the Pope chats away. After hanging up, the Pope offers to pay for the phone charges. The Rabbi looks on the phone counter and says: “1 Shekel 50!” The Pope looks surprised: “Why so cheap!” The Rabbi smiles: “Local call.”

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hree guys wind up at the pearly gates. St. Peter—who turns out to be a lot more interested in money than anyone ever knew— asks the first guy: “So—how much did you make last year?”The guy hesitates but finally says, “Well, about $300,000.” St. Peter says, “That’s great! Come on into heaven.” Then he turns to the next guy and asks him the same thing. That guy hesitates a bit, but fi nally says, “Uh... 250,000.” St. Peter says, “Great! Come on in.”Then St. Peter turns to the last guy and says, “Well, how much did you make last year?” And the guy says, “Well, I was just making minimum wage. when I could work... you see Pvc got these health prob lems, and...” Hearing that St. Peter breaks into a big grin, opens his arms, and says, “JAI BABA!!” . .

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Consumed in the Flame of Love The Story of Baba’s Jewel, Carrie Ben Shammai of Jerusalem %

by Etzion Becker Jerusalem ear lovers of Avatar Meher Baba: I wish to share with you the story of Carrie Ben Shammai, a fiery and fearless lover ofBaba who served Him with one-pointed devotion. It is the story ofBaba’s work in Israel, and also the story of how Baba’s Dis courses came to be translated into Hebrew. Caroline Ruth Ben Shammai was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on December 9, 1902. She was the daughter ofone of the most respected OrthodoxJewish families in Germany. Her father, Rabbi Yaakov Rozenheim, was a man ofhigh spiritual cali ber and religious perfection who excelled in the sciences as well. He was the founder and first president ofWorld Agudat Israel (a po litical party founded at the beginning of the century in order to protect Orthodox Juda ism) and is greatly esteemed by the commu nity to this day. Rabbi Rozenheim’s grandfather gained fame as a wonder-working rabbi. It was said that non-Jewish Ger man soldiers prayed at his grave during World War I, and all ofthem returned home safely. Even during the Nazi regime, German sol diers would sneak into thejewish cemetery to pray at the grave ofthis saintly man. Carrie found the ultra-OrthodoxJewish ways ofher family narrow and confining. Once, she recounted, she asked her father why the family’s servants did not eat togetherwith the family. Not satisfied with her father’s answer, she chose to take her meals in the kitchen with the servants. Driven by her free, inde pendent spirit to seek a broad, universal vision ofreality, she left home, probably in her twenties, and traveled the world for many years in search ofspiritual answers. She spent eight years in Egypt, where she became fluent in Arabic. By profession, she was an Engush teacher, and thus she earned her living. Finally, in Lao Tzu andTaoism, Carrie found

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Carrie Ben Shammai with Meher Baba at the De/moizico Hotel, New York.

what she had been looking for: a universal spiritual philosophy and way oflife that was nonexclusive and nondualistic. Carrie was a manifestation ofthe newly awakened modern woman. For a woman to launch herselfso independently into the great world particularlyawoman from such a highly respected Orthodox family, in which one’s entire life course is determined from beginning to end indicated the depth ofher free and courageous spirit. Carrie immigrated to Palestine in 1935 the same year that her family was forced to flee Germany. Carrie’s father went to the Vatican with otherJewish leaders to discuss with the Pope the prospects of Germany’s winning the war. This act came to the atten tion ofthe Gestapo, and a family friend who was an 5.5. officer warned them to escape immediately or risk arrest and imprisonment in a concentration camp. The Rozenheim family went to England, from there to New York City and finally, in 1952, to Israel. In 1948, Carrie was married to Dr. Meir Hillel Ben Shammai, an editor, teacher and scholar who was an expert in ancient Hebrew and a member ofthe Hebrew Linguis tic Academy. His son from a former marriage was raised by Carrie as her own child. (She herselfnever had children.) Meir agreed to become a vegetarian according to her wish ( or as a condition for her consent to be marned). In 1956 Meir won the national lottery, and the moneywasjust enough for one ticket to the United States. Carrie traveled to New York City to visit her relatives, and it was there, through Fred and Ella Winterfeldt,

that she learned about a great spiritual Mas ten who was visiting New York at that time: Meher Baba. When Carrie met Baba for the first time, she simplyfdll madlyin love with Him—there is no other way to say it. She immediately recognized Meher Baba as the living embodi ment ofwhat she had found in Lao Tzu, the end goal ofhen heart’s longing. On meeting Baba, Carrie fell at her Beloved’s feet, sayin that she wanted to serve Him and spend the rest ofher life with Him. Carrie’s photo with Meher Baba appears in the book Love Personfied taken when she met Baba at the Delmonico Hotel onJuly 16, 1956. I believe that this was hervery first meeting with Baba. Carrie’s body language expresses her total sunrenderance to Him. She is seen almost literallyfailing into the candle’s flame like a lovemad moth, and Baba is pointing at the candle as a warning not to get burned. “I wanted to be consumed by His fire!” she told me. And so she was. Carrie was almost on the verge of being a mastani, but Baba never allowed her to slip over the edge. How to define such love, such hunger for the Beloved? Her pangs of separation from Him were simply incredible. From NewYork, Carrie followed Baba to Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, South Caro lina. There, by Baba’s permission (or order), she spent the night in the Lagoon Cabin the onlyperson ever to do so.Jane Haynes com mented about this: “It had some significance; certainly we can know that it was a great blessing.” Joyce Byrd ofChigwell, Essex, England, told the story that during 1958 Baba asked the women present to carry Him in His chair to the ocean. Joyce remembered that

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among the women were Margaret Craske and Carrie Ben Shammai. She shared her opinion that in this concrete action Meher Baba was “raising the status ofwomen in the world.” After her return to Israel, Carrie began spreading Baba’s name unceasingly and fearlessly, despite hostile surroundings and reli gious prejudices. In a letter that Mani sent to Adele Wolkin by Baba’s approval on April 8, 1960, Adele was instructed to help Carrie fi nancially in obtaining Baba books from Adi K. Irani. Mani emphasized: “The sum, however, should NOT be paid fully by you, but should be a joint contribution of as many Baba-lovers as convenient, and desirous of helping for this purpose (and so that no one donor is burdened with a heavy contribution).” During the early sixties Carrie persuaded her husband to translate some ofBaba’s Dis courses into Hebrew, since her knowledge of Hebrew was not adequate to the task. That Dr. Ben Shammai agreed to this is quite re markable, because for an OrthodoxJew, the idea ofGod descending on Earth as a man is nonsensical, ifnot blasphemous. (Even though Judaism anticipates with great longing the coming ofthe Messiah to redeem the world, tEejewish tradition envisions the Messiah as a great and saintly leader but not as a divine incarnation.) But Meher Baba works through the medium oflove, and because ofhis love for his wife, Meir eventually translated into Hebrew six of Baba’s Discourses: “Love,” “God-Realization,” “True Discipleship,” “The Search for God,”The Problem ofSex,” and “The Sanctification ofMarried Life.” They were published by Carrie in a small, lovely hardbound book entitled Meher Baba Says, with an introduction by Carrie on “Who is Meher Baba?” The book won a prize for cxcellence at thejerusalem Book Fair of 1964. A few copies were sent to Baba, who was pleased by her effort. Baba signed one book, which was sent back to Carrie. Later on Carne also published the Universal Message in Hebrew. She held Baba meetings in Tel Aviv and in the Upper Galilee. (In Jerusalem, where she lived, she maintained a room dedi cated to Baba in the two-room apartment that she shared with her husband.) Meir continued working on the Discourses with Ilan Weig, who had come across Meher Baba Says in a library, and became very close to Baba. Eventually they completed the first Hebrew version ofthe Discourses. On April 22, 1966, Adi K. Irani sent a

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letter to Carrie in which Baba indicated that she was “His jewel.” It was a rare and special compliment from Baba, who was well aware ofall the obstacles that Carrie had had to face and what was yet to come. Carrie was a dynamo of energy, exuber ance, enthusiasm, and love for Baba. She was so zealous about Baba that she had no fear whatsoever in declaring Baba’s divinity from the rooftops ofJerusalem. Being fluent in Ara bic, Carrie would enter the Arab section of

Carrie would enter the Arab section ofJerusalem and enthusicastically greet Arabs by exclaiming, “You and I are brothers!” . . .

Jerusalem and enthusiastically greet Arabs by exclaiming, “You and I are brothers!” She also distributed Baba cards to them. The way Carrie was treated by her com munitywas mixed. Some appreciated her high idealism, while others simply saw her as a madwoman. But she paid no heed to any of this. She would give Baba literature even to the Orthodox. I met Carrie during 1972 through han, whom I had met at a spiritual meeting and who one day suggested that h should meet a certain woman inJerusalem. As soon as I entered Carrie’s lavish Baba room and gazed at Baba’s picture, He made me know in a split second who He is: the Highest ofthe High, my ultimate Beloved. hn 1979 Meir Ben Shammai died, and Carrie’s health was deteriorating. She ordered me to take her to India, where she met her loved ones for the last time. The fire of her love for Baba was consuming her body: soon after her return to hsrael she stopped walking. Something was slowly consuming her from the bottom up, and no medical treatment helped. Thisjovial, fiery dancing person became confined to a wheelchair till the end ofher life. h spent a very intense year with her until she was forced to leave her apartment and enter an Orthodox old age home because her legs had became paralyzed. There was no one else, so I had to take care ofBaba’s center, which was left alone af ter Carrie was forced to leave. When I came to collect the contents ofher Baba room and

take them to my place, her stepson ordered me to take all that stuffright away or else he would throw it all into the street! Unfortu nately the book that Baba signed had been lost or given away. It felt like a great loss(the closest remnant of Baba’s presence, second only to His very personal presence. There was no one to share Baba’s love with because all the people Carrie had shared Baba’s love with had disappeared. han, who had introduced me to Carrie and helped me so much at that time, since I didn’t speak English, called me as soon as he heard that Carrie’s Baba center had come to me. He asked me to come to his flat inTelAviv where he gave me all his Baba material, indicating that he needed a living Master and could not do with a departed one! So now what was I to do? What I was capable of, was translating Baba books into modern Hebrew and delivering them to the public. So, in 1982, the first book was published: a part of Sobs and Throbs, concentrat ing on the story of Ali, an example of dedication to the Master under all circum stances. As I worked on it, I realized that Baba was allowing me to share His workwith many others for example, the typists, editors, printcr5, binders, and even the postal workers who delivered Baba’s material to its destination ( some of them of course were unaware that theywere helping in the Avatar’s project).The completed bookwas sent to all the libraries in Israel, and a few people were touched by it. Meanwhile I was visiting Carrie quite often in the nursing home, and while Baba al lowedhertoguip the cup ofsufferingto the last drop, her slightestwishwas promptlyftiffilled; as Baba Himselfsaid, “I dare not care not for my lovers.” Again and again we talked about the Dis courses, and she gave me a few instruction concerning them. I read the Discourses manytimes; I checked Meir’s translation,whichwas written in averyarchaic Hebrew andh came to the conclusion thatitwas impossible to translate it into Hebrew and that people would just have to studyitin English! Finallyin 1984 I decided to give it a tryAt firstitwas an ordeal, likeplowingafield strewn with heavyboulders. So I cried to Baba, “Baba, it is impossible; greater men than I have tried and did not succeed.”Then Baba turned His Key and ‘said’ “You can translate three words a day. Translate them literally as they come.” It sounded crazy to me, butwhen I tried to escape His threewords, HeletmefeelHis displeasure.

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country, using all manner ofmedia, including Theworst type ofhellis but a shadowofBaba’s TV newspapers, and personal inspiration. Livdispleasure. Whydisplease Love? So on I went, ing with Baba is a constant wonder—I could slowly but surely, and the three words became three sentences, and even more, and the big write a book for each sentence that appears above. Serving Babais alifelong mission withboulders were slowlyground into small rocks, out end, with not a moment ofunemployment, and during the years the rocks became smaller not a moment ofboredom. Most exciting, the and smaller till theybecame like fine sand, and Hebrew Discourses are now approaching the workstarted to be fun. publication at last, bringing to fruition the In 1986 I saw Carrie for the last time, two ofB aba’s jewel, Carrie Ben Shammai. work almost Itwas away. passed she before months topic e withher,tillth communicate impossibleto ith thanks for their contributions to: shifted to Baba.Then, all ofasudden, to myut Max Seibert, (memoirs), Tamir self her old became Carrie , astonishment ter (computer), Michal Sivan (com Shachner always. as radiant fieryand fti]lypresent, again, Crossen Burroughs (English Kendra ments), 27, October on away Carrie passed Dear editing). contin I end. soldiertillthe 1986, abraveBaba ued the translation, and it was accomplished [Editor note.Etzion isoffèring during 1991. According to Baba-lovers worldwide the op to had I Carrie’s instructions, The worst type of aringwithBaba portunityofsh to editor find a professional hell is but a shadow Don Stevens in IsraeL cause transla compare the Hebrew displeasure. ofBabac beha(f aheadon hisfinalgo gave this and tionwith the original, Love? of blication displease Why Trustforthepu ofthe was required also bytheTrust Hebrew.] in rses BabacDiscou ex few via Don Stevens. A perts gave me their estimated fees, but they his project is a tribute to Carrie Ben wereveryhigh, more than ten thousand dollars. Shammai, who started the translation of to agreed ramBeck, Finallymyoldeditor,Dr.Yo duringthe earlyl96O’s. During Discourses the still as do thejob forfive thousand dollars.Thisw requestedMax Seibertto col Carrie 1970’s the when GuWWar veryhigh, especiallyafter the to cover the cost ofthis puborder in lect funds But all of Israel was in a severe depression. did, and those funds have he which lication, we So slowly. Baba’s workmust continue, even ofthe Discourses the development helpedwith Ijok and startedwithone chaptereach month, we would be participate to Ifyouwish tillnow. build ingly told the Becks that maybe I would atthe mo in India SinceMaxis . mostgrateful since them aroom instead ofpayingwith money, to: moneyorder sendyour can mentyou after I am in the constructionbusiness.Then, three months or so, Dr. Beckasked me tolookat Meher Baba-Israel, something under his house. It is a big stone c/oTy Provosty, house on the slope ofahill, and under the house 1306 Spring St., itwas all dug out, so therewas space for a ninety— Cincinnati, Ohio 45210, square-meter flat. I did thejob, and then the 513-381-7303. phone: neighbors wanted the same kind ofwork. So what happened was that everything was fully paidwithinfive months, andl even got agood project! During 1993 allcame to completion. Since Baba’sworkhadbecome fun, I feitlike continu ing the momentum. I searched through the Babalibrary andthe firstbookthatpopped into my hand was Stay with God by Francis Brabazon. I had never opened it before, and whenl startedleafing through it, I discovered, to myutter astonishment,Baba’s original signa ture! What cunning trickery! He kept His sig nature hidden all these years and revealed it at the opportune moment! Since 1994, Baba has turned His Key for Israeland made Himselfknown throughout the

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‘Notes From The Internet” Continuer/from page 41.

Anywayl want to thankyou again for your near thankless task ofbringing me closer to my center and to the goal, cause this snake sure meets alot offlutes that play some tunes that turn her pretty little head all day. Very nice Eric, very well done. may He bless you with a special dream ofMani... . .

[When hepostedthefoiowinglthink Eric was just having a bit ofjimn.]

“Of course I knew...” by Bhau Kalchuri aba had ordered Dma not to allow any one to touch his food while she was pre paring it, and she was usually vigilant not to let any ofthe servants or other ladies help her. One day, however, a devotee of Baba’s came and, though Dma discouraged her the woman sliced an onion. When Dma presented the meal, Baba scornfully remarked, “Today, I don’t want your food.” Dma was taken aback, and then Baba inquired, “Tell the truth. Has anyone touched anyofthe ingredients today?” Dma then understood and admitted what had happened. Baba reprimanded her for disobeyrng him, but then forgave her and ate the meal. Afterward, Dma asked Baba, “How did you know that someone had touched something? Were you here when the food was being cooked in the kitchen!?” Baba spelled out, “Does it behoove you to ask such silly ques tions? Of course I knew; that onion in the food ‘told’ me what had happened. That is how I came to know about it.” made Dma burst outlaughing, but This thereafter she was more cautious when pre paring Babas food and in carrying out his orders. LordMeher 1/id. IVpage 1217 Copyright 1986 AMBPPCT

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[Quite ajèwpeople wrote back to inc congratu—

lating me on having been lucky enough to cook for Baba!Not owning a copy ofVolume 11< they were unaware that it covered the years 1 9291931, and it doesn say how oldshe was at the time. She could have been 4Oplus!! I may be a newly mintedgrandmothei; but Methuselah I ain’t! Besides, Dma Talatti is pronounced ‘Deena, not ‘Dinah. ‘—Ed.] ‘

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1Announcements Bay Area meetings: Our meetings in Menlo Park, CA (30 miles south ofSan Francisco) are on Fridays, 8pm, at the house of Hugh and Jean Macdonald, 300 Yale Road (when we’re not in India) or somewhere else. Call 650-3286783 or 650-323-1900 to make contact. God Speaks readings are now being held at Adele Wolkin’s home in the South Bay area. Ifyou are interested in attending, please call Adele for day and time. 310-540-8404. LordMther readings are still being held weekly at Meherabode. For day and time please call either Fred at 323-257-8371 or Kennedy at 310-393-5752. God Speaks in Farsi is now available!! It has been many long years in the making, but now atlast it is out on the general market. It is identical to the recently republished God Speaks in English—same charts, photos etc. The first book published by our own Love Street Press, it sells for S25.00.

Congratulations To Teresa and Michael Mendoza (Dma’s daughter) on the birth of their first child— Nicole Matisse, on August 30th, 81b, 3oz, 20 inches long and looking gorgeous. To Tamara (nee Mark) and Don Short on the birth oflan Mark Short on April 21st who weighed in at a strapping 91b, lloz, 23 inches long and also looking gorgeous. To Mehernoush Lorkalantari, a Board member at Meherabode, and Kerry McPherson ofBritish Columbia.Their wedding on September 12th, (photos in the Janu ary issue) followed Billy and Pamela Goodrum’s idea oftying the knot under Baba’s Tree at Meher Mount. Mehernoush and Kerry first met at Meherana Northern Cali fornia in 1994, and announced their engagement lastJuly at Meherabode.

Notes From The Internet Chatting With Bhau Highlights from the Internet chat with Bhau at”The Palace,” June 14, 1998 Stephen W.: Bhau, during the chat last August, my older brother died of a heart attack... Mybrother did not have any interest in Baba. Is there some comfort in knowing that I was focused on Baba in a chat with you at the time ofhis passing? Bhau:Though he had no interest in Baba, he was connected with you, and therefore, he was benefited. Baba has said that ifanyone has heard Baba’s name with his ears, Baba takes His name from the ear to the heart. And therefore, ifhe heard His name, he was benefited. And he was also benefited because he was connected with you through impressions and your love for Baba. Tom C.: Ifwe take Baba’s Name at death and achieve liberation, are we offthe reincarna don cycle? Bhau: After liberation, no one ever comes back. All the impressions are wiped out. And thosewho getliberation enjoyinfinitebliss.They do not come back. Tom C.: Should we prefer liberation and infinite bliss, or coming backfor more lives until God-Realization? Bhau: It is not anyone’s choice; it is the choice ofthe Beloved, and He gives liberation to thousands ofpeople during His advent. Kendra B : Bhau, should we be concerned about posterity—like whether there is going to be or already is a Baba religion—or should we just be concerned about our own relationship with Baba? Bhau: Just think about your relationship withBaba.Hewilllookafterposterity and therefore you need not worry There will be no reli gion for up to 300-400 years. And though Baba has made it very clear that He has not come to establish any religion still when people start ceremonies and rituals, religion is established. Tom T. : Do you think that we have some hard times coming in the near future, like between now and 2000, and ifso, what should we do to prepare? Bhau: Just love Baba wholeheartedly, and .

e: don’t worry about the hard times. He is the strength within everyone, so remember that strength, and nothing will happen to you, even ifyou pass through hard times.You will not be affected byhydrogen bomb or atom bomb. You will experience immortality. So be happy, and don’tworryc Beloved Babawillhelp you. Tom C.: Does visiting the Center lessen sanskaras, or onlyvisiting Baba’s Tomb? Bhau: When you visit the Center, you get room in your heart for the Beloved, i.e., your heart expands. But when you visit His tomb, His Tomb is like the flame, where moths go without anyinvitation or information, and they get themselves burnt. And therefore, ifyou visit theTomb, youwill get thelonging for Him and you will also get the thirst, and when you are thirsty you may also get wine when you visit the Center. He is very very active—infinitely active at present. And because the Center is established under His instruction, you also get the thirst and the wine there. And therefore, it is important to visit the Center. It is also more important tovisit HisTomb. But ifanyone cannot go there because of some difficulties, it is better that he or she should visit the Center. Babahas saidMyrtle Beach Center is His home in theWest, and therefore, those who visit the Centervisit His home. Frank D. : Baba left us with an abundance on how to love Him... Did Baba say anything aboutloving another? Bhau: Frank, when you love the Beloved, you love everyone, because He is everyone, and there is no question ofothers. KendraB.: Whydoes Babalike arid places, like Meherabad and Meher Mount? Bhau: Once Baba said that He would like such places when He was Mohammed. He selected the desert, and Meherabad is better than the desert. Once Mehera asked Him: Why did you select this place [Meherabad]? There is no water.” And Baba said, “I always select such places where there are difficult problems, so that those who come to Me because of love don’t care about anything, because Love seeks only the Beloved’s pleasure. I have selected this place, and therefore, those who come here and, in spite ofdifficulties, remainhappy and cheerflu, theyplease Me.” Carole: There was recently a discussion on the Listserv about whether Baba wanted folks to continue to keep silence onjuly 10. Can you shed light on this? Bhau: In a 1968 circular, He has emphati cally said that silence should be maintained on Continued on page 30.

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‘Dear Christ upon this Christmas morn Let allmen weep thatyou were born ‘Upon this earth that thoughtsojair That but the Cross whichvou must bear.

£etyour ears become c(eajto delusIon to enab(eyou to Iear /çy sI&nt message ojcllvine love.

The beauty ojthe buclcfing rose, the lovev t{iamond fthe dew, Proclaim naught but thepainyou chose That we iniht one lay live asyou.

£etyour eyes become blnclto illusion to receive Me as I am.

.4 lover speech, alli;fants’cry,

Letyour 1;eait open to receive 7vfe injulT message, with .My blessings ThIs is toyou all,for ‘December 25th.

sllsicIbedsweat andcçying groan, syou in us, that we may die To us anclave asyou alone. Let us then, brothers, lfr oui handc .zinplec(ge our souls in hoy bands To labourfor.-cim through the landc Tillearth itsefin Christhoodlstands. francis ‘irabazon

jvI6er a6ac çfr to ‘us Eart6 Out ojinillions ojworlIs in this vast universe, earth. you have chosen this one beauty. lanclwith adorneclthe have ou 9-fere, us among .J-fere alone ou taIe birth anclwalb On thisyrecious soil; as a man, Tojuffillthe radiant mystery of YourJiln J-[ow Blsse1it is to be born here! —

To serve the earth is to serve you,

:Tor here your live tabes root. 5-fere 0 u r lives a repa rt of yo urs J-fere, your love bearsjruit.

To walb the earth is to waib hov ground To touch the earth is to touch gocl vfyste;y. To know the earth is to bnow god To serve the earth is tojoin i-iis beauty, Tojoin 7-fis beauty. “The Elcments, _‘4n Oratorio In YraIsc oJMchcr ‘J3aba, ©Search(ight, 1984 The Christmas greeting on the facing page reads:

‘During this i-ioflclay easo;i andthrotghout the ‘iew year nlayyour hearts befilleclwith i-iis Boundless Love. Both cards on this page 7/,’jt (above) and /m’ed (top) can be viewed in color on Cherie Plumlee’sWeb page: http://eccinfo.sunyerie.edu/cplumlee/mbartpage.htm

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Avatar Meher Babacftag in the Meeting Ha/I at Meherabode.”

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Profile for AMBCSC ARCHIVES PRINT LIBRARIES

Love Street Lamp Post 4th Qtr 1998  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES: Rare Print Literature Publication

Love Street Lamp Post 4th Qtr 1998  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES: Rare Print Literature Publication

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